WARREN, Mich. (Jan. 16, 2019) – Christian Dean is the 2019 recipient of the Richard A. Balgenorth Lasallian Award for Higher Education.
The annual $1,000 scholarship, which is in tribute to the memory of the De La Salle alumnus, has been awarded each year since 2009. Balgenorth, who graduated in 1975, believed De La Salle Collegiate plays a crucial role as a foundation for lifelong learning. The award aims to financially assist a graduating De La Salle senior continue his education at a college or university.
“Winning the scholarship means a lot to me as it is an opportunity to help with tuition, books, and other materials to be successful in college,” Dean said.
Dean has been accepted to 10 colleges, including the University of Michigan and the College for Creative Studies in Detroit. An avid art student, he intends to pursue a career in animation or illustration.
“Christian is an prolifically creative thinker,” art teacher John Hicks said. “He has had success making works digitally, as well as through traditional media. Some of his works have been selected to be used on pamphlets, and T-shirts printed for the school. Works and ideas flow out of Christian’s brain faster than he can even make them. Anytime you see him in the halls, he has a pencil behind his ear, and is carrying a sketchbook, with extra drawings, notes, and images spilling out of it.”
Dean has been a four-year acting member of the school’s Drama group, the Wig and Mask Society (WAMS), and has appeared in the school’s fall and spring plays since freshman year. He has also had roles in plays presented at Regina High School.
“I have enjoyed every moment I’ve spent in the shows,” he said.
According to drama director Kevin Fitzhenry, “Christian has been a workhorse in drama and all of his activities.”
Dean’s performances are not limited to the fall and spring plays, however. During his junior year, a group of students began preparing and recording a weekly news show, and he has been an anchor for First Class News.
He is also involved with Campus Ministry, saying the prayer at the end of each school day on the school’s public address system, and singing in the choir at school Masses. He is headed to Washington, D.C. this month with other students for the annual March for Life.
Dean is a member of the National Honor Society, carries a 3.8 grade-point average, and is also a four-year member of the Student Council, the Link Crew, and has served as a student ambassador for the Admissions Department.
He has a varsity letter in cross country, and is a four-year track athlete.
Dean is also a player buddy for the Miracle League of Michigan, and appears in costume as the league’s mascot Homer at games during the season. He has also participated in charitable events such as Walk with Me Detroit and Miles that Matter.
In his scholarship application essay, Dean wrote about his high school experiences. “I am convinced that De La Salle was instrumental in my personal growth. I have learned that failure can be the greatest teacher, and that in failures lies opportunity.”
The son of alumnus Christopher Dean, ‘89, the school’s Assistant Principal for Academics, Dean noted the impact of his father’s stories of his time at De La Salle.
“Someday, perhaps 30 years from now,” he said, “I hope my son will have the opportunity to attend De La Salle Collegiate, and I will be able to share with him the lessons that originated from St. John Baptist de La Salle: there will always be an opportunity to help others.”
ALL-TIME RECIPIENTS OF THE BALGENORTH SCHOLARSHIP
2009 – Andrew Holub and Michael Albani
2010 – Bernard VanBerkum
2011 – Kyle Sant
2012 – Aaron Brzezinski
2013 – Andrew Piontkowski
2014 – Alexander Valentini
2015 – Nicholas Jozefczyk
2016 – Kevin Jones
2017 – Russell Hu
2018 – Michael Ososkie
2019 – Christian Dean