A Baltimore District local Mountain Ridge High School student was honored as one of nine students nationwide to receive the Army Engineer Memorial Award in a ceremony June 30 with the current and incoming commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District.
Karli Hakala, daughter of the Operations Project Manager at Jennings Randoph Lake Karl Hakala, received the award from Col. Trey Jordan, current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District commander and incoming commander Col. Ed Chamberlayne.
"This award represents one of the many accomplishments that Karli has attained through her hard work and perseverance. Karli has been involved with numerous cleanup events and promoting water safety as a part of the Jennings Randolph Lake Friends group which has helped to increase her awareness of the environment and how volunteers can make a difference," said Karl Hakala.
The award was established in 1973 as a living memorial to Engineer Officers killed in Vietnam and given annually to honor all Engineer Officers who died in the line of duty. These merit based awards are open to students in all fields of study and are based on academic and extracurricular achievement during high school.
Hakala’s involvement as a National Honor Society member, AP scholar with honors, Model United National Honorary Delegation member, speaker at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation Leadership Summit, track and field athlete, member of the Allegany County Board of Education, leader of the Environmental Club and involvement in numerous community projects set her apart from the competition of fellow student.
"This award means a lot to me because so many time awards and scholarships only look at your academic performance instead of you as an individual. This award had holistic criteria, so knowing successful people think I’m doing well in multiple areas of my life is an honor,” said Karli Hakala.
Hakala will attend Smith College in North Hampton, Mass. in the fall majoring in biology and osteopathy.
"I'm most looking forward to meeting new people and gain a better understanding of the world and my role in the coming years," said Karli Hakala.
Hakala reflected on her time at the lake when she received the award yesterday.
"Every time I go to Jennings Randolph Lake, I rediscover how beautiful and untouched some places still are, it is refreshing. Upon moving to Western Maryland, I very much resented the area. However, going to the lake time and time again has sparked an interest in the outdoors for me. This past year, I helped re-start the environmental club at my school," said Karli Hakala.