When his life was cut short by an in-line skating accident at the age of 22, Brian Thiele was learning more about the business world at a company in Ulm, Germany; finishing his degree at Western Michigan University; and preparing to assist as soccer coach at Kalamazoo Central High School. Thiele, a 1990 graduate of Portage Northern High School, spent four years on the high school soccer team. Although he loved to play the game, he found just as much, if not more, excitement in helping young athletes learn the skills essential to being successful in soccer. Thiele was head junior varsity coach at Northern for a year, served as assistant varsity coach at Northern and coached a boys under-16 TKO team. This scholarship, established by family and friends in memory of Brian Thiele, provides financial assistance to students who exhibit characteristics similar to those for which Brian is so fondly remembered. This includes playing high school soccer, the achievement of personal and academic goals, overcoming obstacles to meet his goals, competitive spirit, leadership and a special caring for his fellow man.
Graduating high school senior who is a Kalamazoo County resident or who attends a high school within Kalamazoo County; four years of participation on a soccer team during the four years of high school; can demonstrate his/her efforts to give back to the community by helping others; and can describe adversity and/or obstacles he/she has overcome in his or her lifetime. Planning to pursue a certificate or two- or four-year degree full time. Financial need may be a consideration but is not a requirement for application.