Berthoud High’s Michael Doolittle earns prestigious Boettcher Scholarship
By Dan Karpiel
The Boettcher Scholarship is one of the most prestigious scholarship awards a Colorado high school student can earn. This year Berthoud’s very own Michael Doolittle was honored as a recipient.
The scholarship, established in 1952, provides recipient’s coverage for full tuition and fees, a book allowance, and a living stipend for eight semesters to any in-state public or private institution of higher education. Doolittle will be using his scholarship at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where he plans to pursue a course of study in cellular and molecular neuroscience with the aim of attending medical school and becoming a neurologist.
According to the Boettcher Foundation, “Boettcher Scholars are selected for their academic achievement, outstanding character and service and leadership in their schools and communities. The Boettcher Scholarship is an investment in our state’s future game-changers. It not only recognizes their past achievements but also their future impact on the State of Colorado.”
Tiffany Anderson, director of the Boettcher Scholarship program said in a press release, “Michael really stood out with his commitment both in and out of the classroom. We’re proud of him representing the Boettcher community, and we look forward to seeing how his future leadership positively impacts the State of Colorado.”
The application process is not simple. Doolittle had to compile not only his academic record and achievements but also the details of his extra-curricular and leadership activities. From there Doolittle was required to write essay papers, along with one of around 500 words and three shorter ones at about 200 words apiece. “It’s a pretty lengthy application,” Doolittle said.
Following the paper application, finalists are selected and required to interview before a nine-person panel which ultimately makes the decision of which students will receive the scholarship award. Doolittle made a point to emphasize Berthoud High School was tremendously helpful throughout the application process, even helping with mock interviews.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” Doolittle said of the help the school provided. “They just put you through the ringer. They made it harder than the actual interview so that way when I did the actual interview it seems liked a piece of cake. That was super, super helpful.”
In addition to his considerable academic achievements, he earned a GPA of nearly 4.3 thanks to weighted AP classes and Loveland Rotary Club Student of the Month honors. Doolittle is engaged in multiple community-service and extra-curricular activities as a football player and with his involvement in shooting sports with the 4-H program. In the summer of 2017 Doolittle won the state championship in the archery competition through 4-H, something for which he had been striving for 10 years. Doolittle’s shotgun team that does skeet, trap and sporting clays competitions has also enjoyed enormous success.
Following the tragic death of his sister Ashley, Michael became heavily involved in the Ashley Doolittle Foundation began by his mother, Ann Marie, something he believed played a major factor in his eventual selection as a Boettcher Scholarship honoree.
“Neurology is fascinating to me,” Doolittle said when asked why he is choosing to study cellular and molecular neuroscience at CSU. “I think that being a doctor of any sort, right now I want to be a neurologist, would be really cool to serve people and help others.” Doolittle explained his grandmother suffers from Parkinson’s disease and he has always been drawn toward the field of neurology and neuroscience.
Doolittle explained attending CSU was a relatively easy choice, pointing out the university’s location provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities, something that is of great importance, in addition to his affection for the school’s neuroscience program.
Said Doolittle, “I really love it up there, just the environment of campus. And Fort Collins, where it’s located is just awesome. I’m a real outdoorsy person. I wrote in my application on how I like to hunt and fish and I do a lot of dirt-biking and snowmobiling. I’d like to be close to home and it’s just an awesome area for me to continue to do all my outdoor activities. The environment there really fits me and my interests. Through my visits to CSU I’ve really grown to like the neuroscience program up there. I feel they will provide me the best academic life and the whole college experience.”
“I’m really looking forward to the future and the opportunities that the Boettcher Foundation provides through this scholarship. It’s a lot more than just the money. They provide a lot of connections and support for the next four years and beyond,” Doolittle said.
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