Bethesda Auxiliary Awards Student Scholarships

Total of $18,000 provided to students pursuing careers supporting intellectual and developmental disabilities

Watertown, Wis. – Six college students planning careers that will enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been awarded Bethesda Lutheran Communities Scholastic and Service Scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic school year.

“Bethesda Auxiliary scholarships bolster students planning careers that support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Karen Carter, president of the Bethesda Auxiliary. “We’re so pleased to recognize and reward students poised to support the disability ministry of the future.”

Students receiving the 2020-2021 scholarships are:

  • Jenna Gaal of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, attending the University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Hannah Oelhafen of Waukesha Wisconsin, attending Martin Luther College, MN
  • Sarah Brooks of Janesville, Wisconsin, attending Martin Luther College, MN
  • Kayla Lehr of Omaha, Nebraska, attending the University of Nebraska, Omaha
  • Brandon Staple of Longmont, Colorado, attending the University of Colorado, Denver
  • Meghan Weaver of Fort Wayne, Indiana, attending Bowling Green University

Criteria for the competitive scholarships includes demonstration of academic achievement, active involvement in a Lutheran church, service hours spent working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and a career plan that includes work and advocacy in the field of developmental disabilities.

This year’s competitive scholarships total $18,000 and are awarded annually by the Bethesda Auxiliary in partnership with Bethesda Lutheran Communities. More information on the scholarships can be found at  

About Bethesda Auxiliary

The Bethesda Auxiliary is a nationwide organization that reaches forward in faith, word and deed by sharing the love of Jesus with people who have developmental disabilities in partnership with Bethesda.

About Bethesda
Headquartered in Watertown, Wis., Bethesda is a national Christian organization, providing homes and other services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1904. Bethesda strives to become a central point of connection that unites people who have disabilities with communities and provides essential resources to help them live their lives to the fullest through more than 300 programs across the country. For more information, go to

On January 10, 2022 Bethesda Lutheran Communities became AbleLight.