Tatum Wells awarded Vail Mountain School’s Taft Conlin Scholarship

Tatum Wells, an eighth grade student at Homestake Peak School, has been awarded the Taft Conlin Scholarship, Vail Mountain School announced this week.

Tatum Wells, of Avon, an eighth grade student at Homestake Peak School, has been awarded the Taft Conlin Scholarship at Vail Mountain School. She will enter the Upper School at VMS as a member of next year’s freshman class.

The endowed scholarship was created in 2014 and is awarded every other year to an incoming Upper School student. It provides full tuition at VMS each year until graduation. This year it saw the strongest pool of applicants ever, VMS said.

Students are chosen for the Taft Conlin Scholarship through an application process based on their academic merit and their positive community impact.

Wells follows fellow Taft Conlin scholars Felix Gruner, Sergio Rodriguez, Lauren Dirvonas and Kevin Garcia. Garcia, the first recipient of the scholarship, is currently a senior at Williams College majoring in chemistry.

“Education is not just learning how to solve a math problem in school, but it is what prepares you for the future,” Wells said in her application for the scholarship.

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Among the criteria for the scholarship is a demonstrated desire to serve others. Wells has volunteered for The Cycle Effect, Celebrate the Beat and the Bilingual Pathways Award group, and also serves food at the Samaritan House and does work on local trails.

“The Taft Conlin Scholarship was created to provide opportunities for the best and the brightest,” said Jeremy Thelen, director of admission at VMS. “In what was an incredibly competitive process, we are honored to extend this opportunity to Tatum. It will be a pleasure seeing all that she accomplishes at VMS. Tatum’s well-rounded academic, artistic and athletic prowess is complemented by an intellectual curiosity that makes for a wonderful fit at VMS.”

In recommending Wells for the scholarship, Brett Donelson, founder and executive director of The Cycle Effect, said she will “add grit, perseverance, laughter and compassion … she will be an amazing addition to your community.”

The endowed scholarship was created in Taft Conlin’s name by his parents, Dr. Louise Ingalls and Dr. Steve Conlin, as well as by significant contributions from the community and other members of Taft’s family.

In describing the scholarship during its inaugural year, Dr. Ingalls said, “We established this scholarship to create opportunities for students who truly stand out — young men and women who will thrive in college and probably appear on the cover of Time Magazine someday. Our goal is to open doors for kids who will take full advantage of the learning and networking opportunities that exist at VMS. The school has been a launchpad for countless individuals who not only do well in their careers but who also do good in service to others. For us, this is Taft’s legacy. He will live on through the positive effects that the Taft Conlin scholars will have on their local and global community.”

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