Last week, Helix awarded our $1,000 Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship to Mount Miguel High School senior Jade Mahaney and our $1,000 Dr. Lillian M. Childs Scholarship to Helix Charter High School senior Jack Hopper.
The district received 27 scholarship applications this year. Applicants must:
Live in Helix’s service area
Attend a university next fall
Have excellent academic standing
Excel in extracurricular activities and community service
Write an essay on how to develop a sustainable water supply
Provide a personal goals statement
Provide letters of recommendation
“Every one of this year’s applicants were outstanding students involved and contributing in a lot of different ways,” said Helix Director Kathleen Coates Hedberg, who headed up the selection committee. “But there was a small group of students who showed real leadership, and it was out of this group that our two 2019 recipients emerged.”
Mahaney started her own after-school program to tutor and mentor low-income and at-risk kids ages 6-17, and then partnered with the Boys & Girls Club to bring students from foster homes into the program. She has led the program from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day for the last six years. She is also the student body president at Mount Miguel High, started a new club at the school to support women students, is in the Spanish club and has been competing in Taekwondo for years.
Mahaney will attend San Jose State University next fall and major in business, with hopes of starting a nonprofit organization to provide college-preparatory and academic resources to low-income students.
Hopper got his start in theater production in middle school and has been volunteering his design and production skills, including writing, directing, lighting, sound engineering and videography since then to his old middle school, Helix Charter High School and various churches. He has developed and refined his skills to a level that he is also working — up to 60 hours a week — for theater and dance company productions as an independent contractor. He is also on Helix Charter High’s speech team, yearbook staff, cross country team, letter society and drama club.
Hopper plans to attend Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania next fall, major in theater design and production, and begin a successful career in the theater.
The Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship was established upon his retirement in 1998, after serving as Helix’s general manager for 19 years. Friedgen provided the seed money and the board and others contributed additional funding. The Dr. Lillian M. Childs Scholarship was started by the Helix board a year later to honor Ms. Childs upon her retirement and recognize the 20 years of service and leadership she had given to the district.
Both Childs and Friedgen were in the Helix boardroom last week to meet Mahaney and Hopper and wish them well in the years ahead.

PHOTOS / Top: Mount Miguel High School senior and 2019 Robert D. Friedgen Scholarship recipient Jade Mahaney with Friedgen, Helix Director Kathleen Coates Hedberg and the Helix Board of Directors. Below: Helix Charter High School senior and 2019 Lillian M. Childs Scholarship recipient Jack Hopper with Childs, Hedberg and the Helix Board.

Above: Jade Mahaney with her Grandmother and sister and Helix’s Mike Uhrhammer,

Above: Jack Hopper and his Mother.


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