By Suzanne Weiss/Director of Public Relations
MANITOWOC, Wis. — Meg Lehman of Kaukauna was surprised and grateful that she was chosen as the 2017 recipient of Silver Lake College’s Mother Generose Cahill Honors Scholarship.
The prestigious, full-tuition scholarship is named for the first president of the college, which was founded and continues to be sponsored by the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity. The scholarship is awarded to the top freshman student who participated in the Mother Generose Cahill Scholarship Competition, after a thorough review of the candidate’s academic credentials, written essay and faculty interview.
“I was definitely not expecting it,” Meg said of the honor. “I was very, very happy and excited. It is a blessing. The first thing I did was to say a prayer of thanks.”
Meg lives with her mother, Lyn Braatz, and stepfather, Eric Braatz, as well as two younger sisters.
“We were giddy,” said Lyn of the family’s reaction to the scholarship news. “Meg called me from her break from work because she was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell me. I was thrilled for her and very proud. It is quite an honor.”
Meg, who will be starting classes in fall 2017, plans to major in vocal performance and pedagogy.
She began her freshman year at Wrightstown High School and then was homeschooled through her senior year.
“When I became homeschooled, I was definitely able to focus a lot more on my academics,” Meg said. “I had a lot more flexibility to study the things I wanted to study like core courses, filmmaking and singing in choir. I also grew in my faith.”
She decided to apply to Silver Lake College after visiting its campus.
“My mom heard that it was a really good school and suggested we take a tour,” Meg said. “I found out so many wonderful things during the visit. The fact that there is a chapel in the main building was a big plus, and the music building was really the selling point.”
After having a chance to sit in with the women’s choir and join them in singing, “I was like, can I join this choir right now?” Meg said.
She has been singing her “entire life,” said Meg, who also plays piano and has been teaching herself to play guitar.
“I lead a youth choir at church,” she said. “Seeing the children praise God brings back what sparked faith in my life, the music.”