Snavely, Thayer Named 2024 Dahlias Scholarship Recipients

Dahlias Alongside Grand Lake Logo

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Both Daniel Weidner and Nathan Molitor believe that Big Brothers Big Sisters is an important organization that defends the potential of youth, and also that education plays an important role in unleashing someone’s full potential.

In order to help support the education of youth in Central Minnesota, and students who have been or are a part of BBBS, Weidner and Molitor established the Dahlias Alongside Grand Lake Scholarship in 2023.

Elmer Snavely Dahlias Alongside Grand Lake Recipient 2024
Elmer Snavely

This year’s winners are Elmer Snavely and Makayla Thayer. Snavely is a student at Lake Superior College in Duluth working towards a degree in Electronic Technologies, and looks to explore process and industrial control opportunities in Western Minnesota after graduation in December 2024. Snavely was a Little in the program for eight years.

“(My Bigs) knew my interests very well, so they gave me a kit to do science projects, and we also enjoyed many other hands-on projects while we were matched up,” Snavely said of his former Big Duo, Steve and Margo Flynn. “They were very welcoming, and made me feel like I was an important part of their lives.”

Makayla Thayer Dahlias Alongside Grand Lake Recipient 2024
Makayla Thayer

Thayer graduates from St. Cloud Apollo High School this spring, and she plans to attend St. Cloud Technical & Community College to achieve her AA in Liberal Arts & Science. She was a little in the program for seven years.

“My Big Sister, Jessica, was able to help bring out the humor in bad situations,” Thayer said. “We were matched during COVID. I was moving from middle to high school, and didn’t like the fact that we had to distance learn for my freshman year. Jessica was able to help make those times seem not so bad. She was easy to talk to, and made the transition a bit easier for me.”

The Dahlias Alongside Grand Lake Scholarship was started by Weidner and Molitor, who have both been involved in BBBS as Big Brothers, and both are former Big Brothers of the Year. One scholarship is awarded to a current or former Little graduating from high school and a second scholarship is awarded to one current or former Little currently enrolled in a post-secondary institution.

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