"It’s okay to not know what path you want to choose and remember you shouldn’t be focused on wanting to walk someone else’s path but be focused on paving your own path and setting a vision for what you want to accomplish in life.”

Amanda Phanivong


Wichita State University 

Wichita, KS

High School:

Campus High School, 2020
Haysville, KS

Originally from Des Moines, Iowa, Amanda has lived in Wichita for six years with her parents, Ana and Alex Phanivong, and her younger sister, Alina.

Amanda plans to utilize her scholarship to earn a bachelor’s degree in dental hygiene with a minor emphasis in marketing, earn her master’s degree in dental hygiene, and obtain her real estate license.  Amanda will begin her studies in fall 2020, close to home at Wichita State University.

Her interest in dental hygiene began during her dental internship at a dental office in Wichita.  She loved getting to meet and learn about so many different people.  “When they come to the dentist, it’s about more than getting teeth cleaned,” she said.  “We get to learn about their passions and outlooks for the future.”

This interest in dentistry grew through her personal experiences.  Amanda’s grandparents had difficulty affording dental care in their home country of Laos.  She wanted to address this problem for others who may not be able to access the care they need.

Although Amanda maintained deep involvement in many extracurricular activities at her school, she learned most from her service on student council.  “I’ve gotten to develop a lot as a leader and person in my school and community.”

She helped other students learn about finance through her internship at the “mini branch” of Valley State Bank in her school.  There, Amanda learned business skills, including skills that go beyond dollars and cents, such as customer service.  “It has taught me that gratitude is a way of communication,” she said.  Amanda particularly enjoyed teaching younger students about taking ownership of their finances through a monthly presentation put on by the internship program.

Amanda plans to continue seizing opportunities that come her way, reflecting often on the values that Timothy himself emulated.  Timothy’s striking leadership ability particularly stood out to Amanda.  “For Timothy, leadership was visible when he was at work or at home with his family,” she said.

As an inaugural scholar, Amanda hopes to represent the foundation by encouraging other students to follow their own path.