Kempker awarded memorial scholarship for university

Riley Kempker is the 10th recipient of the Jonas Scholarship.

TULSA, Oklahoma — Oral Roberts University this year awarded the 10th annual Nyberg Scholarship, given in honor of late Yucca Valley High School student Jonas B. Nyberg. The award is $1,000.

Riley Francis Kempker, 20, is the 2019 recipient. He received word of the honor in May while on a mission trip in the Philippines.

“I want to say thank you for this amazing honor in choosing me to receive your scholarship. It is such a blessing and seed being planted in my life,” Kempker wrote to Lennart and Barbro Nyberg, Jonas’ parents, who live in Yucca Valley.

Kempker is studying for a double major in ministry and leadership with a concentration in evangelism and outreach and communications at Oral Roberts University.

“Coming into my junior year, I will also be fast-tracking graduate-level classes for a masters in divinity,” he wrote.

Kempker is involved in Prayer Movement, a student-led gathering of continuous prayer and worship on the Oral Roberts campus.

“My heart for missions has found home the past two years in the missions and outreach department, where I have served alongside the Salvation Army, spent a month in Myanmar and have recently returned from leading a month-long trip to the Philippines,” he wrote.

Kempker grew up in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, began getting serious about Jesus in middle school and in high school was singing and playing guitar on the worship team.

“Growing up I always had a heart for others and somehow I always knew that my life was not my own. While on my first missions trip ever to Guatemala, I knew God was calling me to full-time ministry,” he wrote.

The Jonas B. Nyberg Scholarship is for students who attend Oral Roberts University. The Nybergs started the scholarship in their son’s memory, offering it to students at ORU in Oklahoma, where their son hoped to attend.

Jonas B. Nyberg attended Yucca Valley High School and died at the age of 18 in 2006 due to bone cancer.

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