We awarded the second KJO Memorial Scholarship of 2021 to Ryan Carlson of LTHS. 


The value of this scholarship is $1,500 annually, renewable for 4 years. All recipients must maintain a B average in college.   

As shown above Ryan with his parents receiving the KJO Memorial Scholarship at the O’Laughlin’s home.

Ryan will attend the University of Alabama in the fall.



Sports and Activities in High School:

Ryan played volleyball for four years and ran cross country for 2 years. 

Ryan participated in Run For Kelli every year.  He not only participated, but he was also the top individual fun-raiser and fund-raiser.  He grew his hair out every year and then solicited donations for him to cut his hair>  We are so happy to recognize Ryan with our KJO Memorial scholarship for 2021. He raised over $1500 annually for the Run For Kelli!

Ryan and his sisters also have a connection to Camp Tecumseh.  All of them have attended Camp T for many years.  We have asked them to represent us at Camp T events we couldn’t attend.  We couldn’t be happier to award this scholarship to Ryan!


Highlights from the Essay:

Here’s part of Ryan’s essay on cutting his hair for the foundation:  “Having naturally curly hair is something that entertains some people. Cutting that naturally curly hair once a year into different crazy haircuts is something that entertains everyone. Every year of high school I have cut my luscious locks to raise money for the Kelli Joy O’Laughlin Foundation and it has been an absolute blast. I really enjoy working with the foundation and have a lot of fun cutting my hair each year. I also am glad that I found the KJO organization because I feel it is important to help a local foundation that impacts the people around me”.

Ryan also mentions Camp Tecumseh in his essay, “Camp Tecumseh, which is a camp that Kelli Joy and I both share a heavy connection with. Being a camper at Camp Tecumseh for eight years I have had many great experiences and with the addition of the cabin in honor of Kelli at Camp Tecumseh I love to think about the money that I may have helped contribute that could have possibly given more people the chance to go to a one of a kind place like Camp Tecumseh.”  As many readers already know our foundation sponsors camperships to Camp T for children who can not afford to attend.  We also have a new cabin dedicated to Kelli Joy at Camp T with her picture and story on a plaque outside the cabin.

Finally, he touches on his Eagle Scout project of recycling school supplies from LTHS to send to a school in Puerto Rico for the less fortunate.  With the size of enrollment at LTHS that a bunch of school supplies!  Here’s some of what Ryan wrote: “These school supplies were given to the organization of Supplies for Puerto Rico which gives school supplies to students in Puerto Rico that do not have the necessary school supplies. We were also able to take out all of the leftover clothes and give them to the Hephzibah Home in Oak Park. This experience taught me the value of helping others and I was proud to be able to coordinate it. It feels good to know that these supplies and clothes went to people that were not able to afford such things.”


Shown below Ryan’s family along with Brenda and John O’Laughlin.  Ryan’s sister Kelly pictured immediately to Ryan’s left is also a KJO scholar recipient from 2019.