ANCHORAGE, Alaska—Every month during the school year, Channel 2 awards a $3,000 scholarship to a deserving Alaskan student. This year's first winner is a 15-year-old with a personal mission to save the world -- starting with cookies and hugs.
"I really like going to a private school -- I like the small surroundings," said Samantha Lorenz.
The world is a pretty big place to a Catholic-school girl, who will graduate with only 12 other students at Lumen Christi High School.
"She's always got her head down, working -- generally with this age group, I always have to tell them to be quiet because they are very chatty," said literature teacher Caitlin Towry.
Lorenz has little time to chat, partly because she know she'll be busy after school and partly because she feels there's more behind every lesson.
"One of the things I remember so well about her is, we were reading 'The Crucible' and we were talking about motivation of characters, and she came up with an idea that i hadn't thought of as the teacher, and it was a fantastic idea," Towry said.
But when Lorenz goes home, her role changes.
"I have five siblings and I'm the oldest," Lorenz said.
Lorenz's no-bake cookies are her claim to fame. The recipe helped her pay for a trip to Thailand, after she made hundreds for a school bake sale.
"That's where I found my calling in life, for sure: in Thailand," Lorenz said.
Last year, the Lorenz family helped build a community center for a Thai orphanage -- a chance for abandoned children to borrow books and play with new toys.
"At the orphanage, the kids just love you, and they just want to hold you the whole time and they just love you," Lorenz said. "I let them go, but they won't let you go."
The 10th-grader's ambition is to work at or build an orphanage in India, although part of her is afraid to go due to homesickness -- but she says her heart would break more if she didn't help those who need it most.
"They found him and his sister in the dump and he was taking care of him, just a little baby in the dump living there -- it made me so sick to think that people have to go through that," Lorenz said.
Her great-grandmother, Lynn Cluff, would rather keep her close to home.
"I love having her; she's a jewel, and when I don't feel like vacuuming she does it for me," Cluff said.
The two spend a lot of afternoons together talking about the past, and what it will mean for Lorenz's future.
For her part, Lorenz thinks she's still learning: not quite ready to take on the world, but still dreaming about changing it.
Lorenz plans to go to the University of Alaska Anchorage for the first two years of college. After that she wants to attend a Christian college to major in theology.
Parents or teachers can nominate a student for Fund the Future, or kids can nominate themselves by writing a 300-word essay about why they deserve a college scholarship.
Contact Ashton Goodell at email@example.com