We are privileged to offer this scholarship to honor the life of Sydney Loofe. We want to thank the Loofe family for allowing us to honor Sydney in this way.
SYDNEY WITH A "Y"
Special thank you to her parents: George and Susie Loofe for sharing her story, and to family friend, Tammy Schindler, for helping to make this story come to life.
Sydney with a 'Y.' Spelling her name that way isn't all that made her unique. Caribbean blue eyes that glistened, white-blond hair, and a sweet smile that turned up a little in one corner (accented by a dimple)—those traits, from the time she was a toddler until she was 24 years old—always lit up a room.
From early on, she could have been dubbed Sydney with a "Why," as she was an incredibly inquisitive child. For instance, one winter when she was three, she wondered whether her tongue would stick to the frost-covered pump in the backyard. It did. At age four, she asked what would happen if she called 9-1-1. Thankfully, her mom intercepted the return call before any emergency personnel was sent out.
She wasn't too ornery of a child, just a curious one, often exploring and playing outdoors for hours (most often with her siblings, Levi and MacKenzie). On one occasion, she saved her sister, choking on an Atomic Fireball, by performing the Heimlich maneuver. She loved her siblings deeply, so coming to their rescue was a natural response. It was part of her nature. Even in her adult life, rescuing others seemed to be a recurrent theme, as she opened her home to several acquaintances who were homeless, down on their luck, or just needed a helping hand. She hated to see people suffer.
Sydney, with a "y," never stopped to ask "why" when it came to helping others. Although she often struggled physically, financially, and emotionally, she opened her home and heart to others. And those who knew Sydney knew of her love of family, her affinity for animals and pets (especially cats), her interest in fishing as a pastime, her fascination with beautiful crystals, and her soft heart.
After high school, Sydney was a little unsure of the direction she wanted to pursue for her future, but she had dreams. Once, that included becoming a marine biologist. But college proved to be a somewhat difficult path for her right out of high school, so she settled for trips to the zoo to satisfy her love of exotic animals. In the meantime, she found a career, and a circle of friends, at Menard's in Lincoln.
When she didn't show up to work one day, her co-workers became worried and reported her absence. Her family feared the worst but clung to hope that no one would harm their beautiful, trusting, kind daughter. Tragically, that wasn't true. Sadly, Sydney, the crystal-blue-eyed girl with a soft heart, who was just 24 years old, was taken from this earth on November 16, 2017.
In her short time here, she touched lives in Arcadia (where Sydney and her family lived until she was seven; in Neligh, where she graduated from high school in 2011; and in Lincoln, where she worked; as well as numerous acquaintances she made along the way.
Sydney Loofe was a unique child of God, one who proudly had this tattooed on her arm, "Everything will be wonderful someday." Her family holds tight to the faith that indeed in heaven, that is true.
Eligibility & Dates
Applicants to the Sydney Loofe Memorial Scholarship must:
Must be a high school senior graduating in 2024
Have a GPA of 3.0 or higher
Eligible High Schools: Nebraska High Schools (Public, Private or Exempt)
Demonstrate plans to attend an institution of higher learning that will make an impact on the community in the interest of safety, and the desire to protect the vulnerable in the areas of:
Countering human trafficking
This list is not a list of degrees or majors, however a list of areas that the degree will make an impact. This list is not comprehensive and can be done in a number of ways. The individual must be able to demonstrate in their essay how their degree can make a difference in the lives of others.
Deadline: March 8, 2024 by 5:00 PM CST - WE WILL ANNOUNCE A WINNER MARCH OR APRIL 2024!
Award Amount: $4000
How To Apply
The application can be downloaded with the link in the top right corner. Directions on how to submit the application will be enclosed.
Submission may be sent via email to email@example.com in PDF format or via snail mail at 3606 N. 156th Street, Ste 101 #128 Omaha, Nebraska 68116.
All materials must come in one email or one envelope.
Students should attach their resume. Optional additional attachments of activities page or list of awards is also accepted.
Students should attach their transcript.
A complete application will include a cover page with name, school, desired undergraduate degree, email address and home address.
Please pay attention to the essay guidelines, as described on the application.
Two letters of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, coach or supervisor.
A completed application form.
2023 Recipient -
In Skyler’s essay about how Sydney Loofe’s story impacted her, Skyler says, “…it also brings about a sense of urgency and determination to put an end to the human trafficking that is so common in our state. It is time that we put an end to what happens so close to home and keep more of our daughters, sisters and friends safe.” As the scholarship recipient, Skyler will receive $4,000 toward her college education.