Global Impact STEM Academy Senior Receives Inaugural Waklatsi Service Scholarship


SPRINGFIELD, Ohio – Cooper Johnson, a graduate of the Global Impact STEM Academy class of 2023, has been awarded the first-ever Waklatsi Service Scholarship. The $500 scholarship recognizes Johson’s exceptional commitment to service and his dedication to making a positive impact in the community, and was established this year by Global Impact alumnus and current Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy, Kordell Waklatsi.

“Cooper was chosen as the recipient of the Waklatsi Service Scholarship because of his remarkable understanding of the importance of giving back to others,” said Waklatsi. “From an early age, he was an active participant in 4-H, which fostered his passion for community engagement. Inspired by his own experiences, Cooper became a camp counselor to ensure that other children have the opportunity to enjoy the same enriching camp experiences he had.”

In addition to his involvement in 4-H, Johnson has made significant contributions to the local Honor Flight program since his freshman year. Through this program, he has provided veterans with the opportunity to visit and pay their respects at memorials in Washington D.C., creating lasting memories for those who served this country.

“I was actually given the opportunity to escort my two Vietnam veteran grandfathers to see their memorials,” said Johnson.

Not only did Johnson graduate from Global Impact this week, he also graduated with an associate of science degree from Clark State College earlier this month, a feat achieved through the STEM school’s college credit plus program. During his high school career, Johnson was active in Global Impact’s FFA chapter as well as a four-year varsity cross country and track athlete for Greenon High School, his district of residence. He plans on attending the University of Cincinnati starting this fall to major in cyber security.

“Cooper’s service extends beyond being a mere bonus for college applications; it has a profound and enduring impact on the lives of those he encounters,” said Waklatsi.

Waklatsi, a 2017 Global Impact graduate, returned to Clark County as a deputy last November after having joined the Marine Corps and serving in Washington D.C. after graduation. Waklatsi is the first alumnus to give back to the STEM school in such a substantial way.

“I am so incredibly honored to be the first-ever recipient of the Waklatsi scholarship,” said Johson. “To be awarded this scholarship in general would have been amazing, but for it to be from a Global Impact alum makes it even more meaningful.”

The Waklatsi Service Scholarship was not only established to recognize outstanding Global Impact seniors like Johnson, but also to inspire and empower local youth to become compassionate and responsible citizens who contribute positively to society.

“I hope this annual scholarship influences others who are currently volunteering to continue their service,” said Waklatsi. “I truly believe we can strengthen our community through volunteering because it instills selfless qualities, which, in turn, develops community members who can rely on one another.”

This scholarship isn’t the only way in which Waklatsi plans on leaving a lasting impact in the community.

 “My long-term goal is to create a funnel program and start mentoring middle schoolers because the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” reflected Waklatsi. “Being able to instill good values at a young age is so crucial to thriving in adulthood and creating a future generation of leaders who value service and giving back.”

About Global Impact

STEM Academy The Global Impact STEM Academy is the first STEM school of its kind in the nation, serving 600+ students in grades 7-12 while focusing on career-readiness and preparing Ohio students for jobs in the fields of biosciences, such as food and agriculture, environmental studies, healthcare and energy. With a mastery curriculum focused on real-world, hands-on projects that foster student excellence, Global Impact is located in the Springfield Center of Innovation: The Dome in Springfield, Ohio. Learn more at globalimpactacademy.org.

PHOTO: Kordell Waklatsi, a 2017 graduate of Global STEM Academy and current Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy, presents Cooper Johnson, a 2023 graduate of the school, with the first-ever Waklatsi Service Scholarship for $500

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