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2020-2021 School Year Winner

Congratulations Mikayla Behel

The Roof Tree Foundation proudly recognizes Mikayla Behel, a senior at Lifeway Christian Academy, as the 2020-2021 recipient of The Roof Tree Scholarship, a merit award bestowed in memory of childhood cancer victim Eli Williams of Athens. Independent judges chose Behel, 18, out of a group of students entering an essay based on The Roof Tree’s “Bloom Where You’re Planted” lecture by David Hargett for high school juniors and seniors.


“We are delighted to have Mikayla represent The Roof Tree as one of our recipients,” said Kristie Williams, The Roof Tree founder, and Eli’s mom. “We had such an impressive group of kids to participate, so the fact that Mikayla’s essay stood out to them really speaks to how well she conveyed her understanding of the lecture and shaped a message,” Williams said. Behel, whose character and lifestyle reflect the values and beliefs of Eli, is a perfect choice for the scholarship, Williams added.


Students who plan to further their education upon graduation from high school are eligible to apply for The Roof Tree Scholarship. The winner is selected based on an essay written from the online lecture with considerations for their service in the community; their reputation and participation at school, and their aspirations for the future. The $1,000 scholarship is a one-time award to the academic or vocational institute of the winner’s choice.


Behel is the daughter of Kraig and Rita Behel, of Athens, Alabama. She plans to study Nursing at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee. The medical field rose to the top of Behel’s list out of a fascination with the mechanics of the human body as designed by its divine creator. Coupled with her interest in a career geared toward servanthood, Nursing is a good fit, she said. Commenting on Behel’s character, Brandon Pressnell, Madison Church of Christ minister where Behel attends, describes her as “that person who knows how to be humble and gracious, yet confident and assertive. She believes in God and the power He has placed in her influence. Mikayla will be a servant to others. It is in her faith development.”