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2008 Scholarship Winners

College-Bound Serbian-Heritage High-School Seniors Across USA & Canada Awarded 


Jackson, CA – June 2, 2008 -
The St. Sava Mission Foundation, founded in Jackson, California in 1962, announced today the winners of their first-ever annual Student Scholarship Program.  Scholarships of $500, $1,000, and $1,500 were awarded to nearly two-dozen winners from the USA, Canada, and Serbia.


“We created the Student Scholarship Program as an important part of our new 2007 Long-Range Plan, to fulfill part of the original Purpose of the St. Sava Mission in Jackson, to help our Serbian youth and elderly,” said George Salata, president of the Foundation.  “The founders of our organization intended that the St. Sava Mission benefit our people and community, and the Scholarship Program has clearly done that.” 


The 2008 Award Winners are: Stevan Stankovich of Carmel, Indiana; Brianna DeWitt of Butte, Montana; Vesna Bukur of Valparaiso, Indiana; Petra Tica of Yuba City, California; Milana Grozdanich of Munster, Indiana; Caitlin Salata of Pasadena, California; Luke Backo of Hermitage, Pennsylvania; Andjelka Gojkovich of Fair Oaks, California; Monica Schultz of Oregon, Wisconsin; Maja Krsmanovic of Portland, Maine; Jovana Cvjetkovic of St. Petersburg, Florida; David Nelson of Pasadena, California; Tamara Saniuk of Northbrook, Illinois; Jovan Andjelich of Munster, Indiana; Predrag Maksic of Belgrade, Serbia; Alyssa Feutz of El Dorado Hills, California; Pavle Krapcevic-Pavlovich of Sacramento, California; Daniel Pierson of Libertyville, Illinois; Alexandra Runjo of Burlington, Wisconsin; Christian Gunther of Etters, Pennsylvania; Aleksandra Furundzic of New Westminster, British Columbia; and, Nikolina Mihajlovic of Akron, Ohio.


Scholarship Eligibility


The 2008 Student Scholarship Program was open to 2008 graduating high-school seniors of Serbian descent, born in or planning to attend a two- or four-year accredited college or university in the USA or Canada in 2008.  The Program was announced in October 2007, with advertisements published in SerbWorld and Sloboda/Liberty, and the application available on the Foundation’s website.


“We also mailed out over one thousand Scholarship Applications to over 150 parish communities throughout the USA and Canada, asking the parishes to hand out the Applications to their eligible high-school seniors.” said Steve Davidovich, vice president of the Foundation.  “The Foundation was extremely impressed with the quantity and quality of the Applications we received, and especially with the achievements and success of our Serbian youth.  The applicants were truly impressive, by all objective and subjective measures.”


“When the Foundation’s members voted unanimously to create the Scholarship Program, and it was announced in October 2007, we originally allocated a total of $10,000 to the 2008 awards,” said Peter Djokovich, treasurer of the Foundation.  “The Program was so well-received by the Foundation’s supporters, that by January 2008, an additional $5,000 had been contributed to it. This allowed us to increase the 2008 total award amount to $16,000, and the number of winners as well.”


Selection Criteria & Process


To ensure unbiased fairness, the Scholarship award selection process was rigorous and controlled.  One team of Foundation members received the submitted Application Information, made the applications anonymous and stored them in a secure internet storage site.  From there, a second group of members pulled and tabulated the results in a point-scoring calculation spreadsheet.  Scoring of the Scholarship applications was based in four equal parts, 25% each, on (1) normalized junior and senior year grade point averages, (2) SAT/ACT/Equivalent international test score, (3) participation and depth of extracurricular and community activities, and (4) a written Essay.


In the Written Essay, applicants were asked first to summarize their family history, and describe the ideals and characteristics of their Serbian and Orthodox heritage that contributed to their success.  Second, they were to recommend up to three ways that these characteristics or ideals could be shared throughout the USA and Canada so that more citizens would better understand our Serbian culture, the character of our people, and our contributions to humanity.


Voices of Tomorrow


“The Written Essays we received far exceeded our expectations,” reported Lana Vukovich, secretary of the Foundation.  “Many of the stories of struggle, war, immigration, perseverance, hard work, family, faith and love, were very moving; we were very impressed with what the Applicants wrote.” added Salata. 


“The Written Essays are so powerful, that after reading them, we recommended and our Board of Directors approved the publication of the collection of all of the Essays in a book that will be called ‘Voices of Tomorrow 2008: Student Essays from the St. Sava Mission Foundation Scholarship Program’,” added Davidovich.


“The ‘Voices of Tomorrow’ book will be available through the St. Sava Mission Foundation website, at, by early 2009,” said Djokovich.  “Pre-orders can be requested just by emailing us at ‘’.”


“And, we invite people of Serbian heritage everywhere to contribute to this vital Scholarship fund, so that future Applicants can also participate in this worthy support program for our next generations of youth,” added Salata.


St. Sava Mission Foundation’s 2009 Scholarship Applications will be released in Fall 2008.  Applications will be available for download from the Foundation website, and will be mailed to parish communities throughout the USA and Canada.



About the St. Sava Mission Foundation


In 1962, people of Serbian heritage in the Western USA set out to build a center of our culture, community and faith in Jackson, California, the site of the first Serbian Orthodox Christian church in North America.  Their goal was to build facilities for a children’s camp, a senior citizen’s home, education, and other cultural and community needs.  To achieve this they incorporated what is today the St. Sava Mission Foundation.  Today, after over 46 years, the Foundation continues to faithfully preserve its Stewardship of this great and vital legacy.  With the children’s camp long-built and successful, today the Foundation’s goals remain a Senior Citizen Assisted-Living Home for our people; a Serbian Heritage Museum, Library & Cultural Center; historical building preservation; student scholarships; sports facilities; and a Serb youth exchange program.  These are community and cultural goals that the Foundation was originally created to achieve in 1962.  And, they are needed now more than ever here in North America.  Learn more at:





Stevan Davidovich, Vice President

Peter Djokovich, Treasurer

St. Sava Mission Foundation