The “Creating the Future” scholarship was established in 2010 in honor of Dr. E. Paul Torrance, creativity guru and founder of Future Problem Solving Program. FPS is an international competitive program in which students apply a problem solving process to situations involving global issues, to current issues in schools and communities, and to visions of the future through storytelling. The scholarship recognizes a current FPS student who is graduating from secondary school. Applicants generally have many years of participation in competitive Future Problem Solving, often in more than one component. In addition, they have shown exceptional dedication to the program through actions that embody the skills of a creative problem solver and/or support the program in their geographic area.

Applications are due by January 26, 2018.

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Scholarship Recipients

Scholarship Recipients

Hannah Hudson

Hannah Hudson


Hannah Hudson, of the New Zealand Affiliate, has participated, coached, evaluated and advocated for FPS for the past several years.

She has been a strong advocate for FPS, making many presentations all over New Zealand.  In one of her presentations, a TEDx talk, she received a standing ovation.  This TEDx talk has been viewed on YouTube over 5000 times.

In Hannah’s own words: “I’ve developed confidence to coach, evaluate, advocate for FPS and voice my bold goal to positively change the world.  I plan to address challenges posed by Climate Change or Artificial Intelligence through engineering.”

FPSPI congratulates Hannah and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.

Liana Merk

Liana Merk


Liana Merk, of the California Affiliate, has participated in FPS for the past nine years.

In her Middle School years, when the students were unable to find a teacher to facilitate the program, Liana became that person!  In high school, Liana went on to coach middle school students, evaluate and successfully make a difference in her community by participating in Community Problem Solving.

In Liana’s own words, “ While I may have frustrated my classmates by reciting the “wrong” alphabet (ABB…), learning the core topics that our world’s largest problems are comprised of has nurtured my multifaceted thinking style.”

FPSPI congratulates Liana and we wish her the best in her future endeavors.
Honorable Mention

Solveig Stensland, Centennial High School, Minnesota FPS
Mitchell Kendrick Wochoski, Athens High School, Michigan FPSP


Moksh Karira

Cole Cunningham


The 2016 Creating the Future Scholarship winner is Cole Cunningham a student at Danville High School, Danville, Illinois. A participant since sixth grade, Cole has participated on Community Problem Solving Teams to address Shaken Baby Syndrome, pill disposal, bullying, veteran assimilation into the community, and the stigma of mental illness. Several of these teams incorporated the collaboration with students from Australia. Cole writes, “I participated in FPS in middle school and was infatuated with the program because of its life lessons and opportunities that it provided. The most poignant skill that I have learned from the program is the ability to utilize the community and its resources.”

The Mayor of Danville Scott Eisenhauer writes, “I cannot think of anyone better suited to represent the spirit of Future Problem Solvers. Dr. Torrance once said, ‘Outstanding creative achievement involves being different, testing know limits, attempting difficult jobs, making honest mistakes and responding to challenge.’ I believe Mr. Cole Cunningham to be an outstanding representative of your organizations.”

FPSPI congratulates Cole and wishes him the best in his future endeavors.


Deanna Altomara, Mahwah High School, Mahwah, New Jersey
Savannah Umpenhour, Flagler Palm Coast High School, Palm Coast, Florida

Honorable Mention

Jacob Halsey, Johnson Central High School, Paintsville, Kentucky
Shreja Patel, Danville High School, Danville, Illinois
Brazos Pinto, All Saints' Episcopal School, Fort Worth, Texas


Moksh Karira

Moksh Karira


Moksh Karira from Troy High School in Troy, Michigan is the 2015 Creating the Future Scholarship winner.  Moksh has competed in FPS since 2008 in CmPS, Global Issues Problem Solving both as an individual and team member. In addition, Moksh serves as an evaluator and Board Member for the Michigan Affiliate Program.  Moksh writes, “FPS exposed me to global, complex issues like Counterfeit Economy and Space Junk but gave me the idealism to try and solve them.  It inspired me to work on two community service projects and to volunteer more in my own community…. Additionally, FPS also expanded my horizons and encouraged me to become more intellectually curious by participating in clubs like Chemistry Olympiad and Model UN.”  Moksh credits his “FPS critical thinking skills” for the ability to adapt quickly to unpredictable situations.

Moksh acknowledges that his participation in CmPS projects have been especially inspiring, reinforcing the need for awareness, involvement, activism and volunteering to ensure the promise for a better tomorrow.

Moksh states, “I am grateful to FPS for the global perspective gained through experiences at International Competitions, which has allowed me to interact, understand, and learn from fellow students from around the world. The optimism, enthusiasm, and love felt at the international conferences are both encouraging and heartwarming. “

FPSPI congratulates Moksh and wishes him the best in his future endeavors. 

Honorable Mention

Denis Dineen, Flagler Palm Coast HIgh School, Palm Coast, FL
Carly Gomez, Avondale High School, Troy, MI
Camille Adajar, Gelena High School, Reno, NV
Dylan Brewer, Kearsley High School, Flint, MI
Elizabeth Waid, Norcross High School, Peachtree Corners, GA



Christian Holland


Christian Holland, an Oxford-bound student from Bristol, England, is one of this year’s ‘Creating the Future’ Scholarship recipients.  Christian participated in the new Future Problem Solving Programme UK during his Middle School years, and when it was no longer an option to participate, Christian devoted his time and energy to building a strong program in the United Kingdom so other students could experience the benefits of FPS.   He became an advocate of the program, volunteering in a wide range of capacities including coaching, evaluating, proctoring and website development.  He presented an FPS workshop at the National Gifted and Talented Conference, helped organize the National Finals, and now serves as Director of FPS UK Marketing on the Affiliate Board.  Christian was strongly instrumental in the growth of FPS UK.
Outside of FPS, Christian is an excellent student at Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital School, a recognized participant in debate and public speaking competitions, and a rugby player.  He was recently accepted into the highly competitive medical school program at Oxford University.  Christian attributes his success during the Oxford interview to the logical thinking skills he developed through participation in FPS.  He states, “I wasn’t fazed by the ‘curveball’ questions I was asked: when faced with a type of medical scan I had never seen before I was able to work logically from my pre-existing knowledge to derive likely problems, while my competitors struggled, having been taught in school simply to repeat learnt knowledge.”

FPSPI thanks Christian for his service, and wishes him the best as he continues his studies at Oxford.


Kimberly Bress


Kimberly Bress, a graduating senior from Melbourne, Florida, USA, has been named as one of this year’s ‘Creating the Future’ Scholarship recipients.  Throughout her school career, Kimberly has taken advantage of all that FPS could offer.  She was a Global Issues competitor for eight consecutive years, submitted Scenarios in four years, and was on two Community Problem Solving teams.  She participated at the local, Affiliate and International levels.  In addition, she evaluates Scenario Writing and Global Issues Problem Solving for the Florida Affiliate. 
Kimberly helped create the Beachside TOPSoccer program as a member of one CmPS team during her 10th Grade year.  She continues with the program as Executive Director and head coach, and has developed a succession plan for the program so it will continue after she leaves for college.  This program was awarded 1st place, Human Services Division at IC 2012, and continues to be recognized by prestigious groups, such as the Jefferson Awards and Students in Action.
An outstanding student, Kimberly attributes her “personal academic successes and leadership roles directly to the FPS critical thinking, research and writing, and teamwork building skills” that she developed through her eight years of participation in FPS.  Her multiple honors in academics and music, as well as her leadership on swimming and soccer teams are a grand testament to the strength of the Future Problem Solving Program and the Florida Affiliate. 
We wish Kimberly the very best as she continues her education with the goal of obtaining a PhD in neuroscience.

  Vishveshwar Subramanian, American Embassy School, New Delhi, India
Honorable Mention
  Ilana Krause, West Shore Jr/Sr High School, Indialantic, Florida
Amanda Royka, North Haven High School, North Haven, Connecticut
Esha Halabe, Morgantown High School, Morgantown, West Virginia


Mackenzie Yaryura


Mackenzie Yaryura, a senior from Southeast High School in Bradenton, Florida, has been active in the Future Problem Solving Program since elementary school. She belongs to the Manatee County FPS Club. Her long list of FPS accomplishments include honors earned at the Affiliate and International levels in both Global Issues Problem Solving and Community Problem Solving. She is now going through the process to become a certified evaluator.

Mackenzie’s FPS skills serve her well in many ways. As a filmmaker and executive producer of a television production program Mackenzie relies on her ability to quickly analyze and solve problems. She balances her heavy class load and extracurricular interests while still finding time to lend a hand to others who may be struggling to pass a class or preparing for the job market.

We heartily congratulate her, and wish her the best in her future endeavors.



Paige Waterstreet


Paige Waterstreet of Zionsville Community High School in Whitestown, Indiana, has been an award winning Scenario Writer and Global Issues Problem Solving team member for six years, and is now a Scenario Writing coach, a GIPS team mentor, as well as an evaluator for both areas in her Affiliate. She has been a tireless advocate for the FPS program in her area by writing grants for assistance, and by organizing young teams outside of school.

Some of Paige’s many interests include music, art, and other cultures. She credits FPS with helping her gain a world view, and has taken the opportunity to both travel abroad and to host visitors from other countries.

We congratulate Paige as she heads to college, and continues her service to FPS by coaching a new team through her college’s community outreach program.

Honorable Mention
  Allison Fisher, Norcross High School, Norcross, Georgia
Sienna Mayer, Academy for Science and Design, Nashua, New Hampshire
Emma Thomas, Coventry High School, Coventry, Connecticut
Louise Edwards
  Louise Edwards has participated in Future Problem Solving for seven years. During that time, she has attended the Minnesota FPS State Bowl each year and qualified for the FPSPI International Conference in three years.  She has competed in team Global Issues Problem Solving and Presentation of Action Plan, winning many awards.  When Louise moved from middle school to high school, she found herself in a school without Future Problem Solving.  For the first year she continued as a member of her former team, but then turned her efforts to establishing an FPS program in her new school. Through extensive communication, persistence, and persuasiveness, she was able to recruit students to begin the program, and served as a leader of the group for the next three years.  During this time, Louise also found and created numerous opportunities to apply her problem solving skills. She was selected by the Minnesota Citizens League to serve as a teen leader, facilitating youth discussions and input on Minnesota’s 50-year transportation plan. After months of work, she presented the teen perspective to the state steering committee.  Louise went on to join the Civic Institute for Emerging Leaders, which provided year-long training in policy making and civic leadership.  Through a public policy course at her school, Louise formed a group called Students Demanding Change that partnered with the non-profit PACER center. Together they worked on supporting anti-bullying legislation at the state level.  Her coach states, “[Louise] has a truly global outlook and is focused on the world…[She] will help to change the world.”

Emily Hackett

  Emily Hackett has participated in Future Problem Solving for eight years. As a competitor in team and individual Global Issues Problem Solving, as well as Presentation of Action Plan, she has participated in her affiliate state competition every year, winning many awards, and has attended the International Conference four times.  When budget cuts eliminated funding for FPS at her high school, Emily worked with other students to organize themselves and take responsibility for their own work.  At the same time, she became a coach and mentor to middle school students working with FPS.  Emily worked with teams after school several times a week, as well as assisting in a middle school class focused on FPS. In her work with these younger students, Emily showed a keen insight into the personal strengths of each student, designing experiences to improve their skills and increase their confidence, and pushing them to think “outside the box.” She also became a personal mentor to one student moving on to the International Conference as an individual competitor. In the words of one FPS coach, “[Emily] connects with other people in a very special way. Students would beg for an opportunity to work with her.” Another coach states, “I have learned so much from Emily on how to present the information that is being taught in FPS, whether the materials is vocabulary words, research articles, or aspects of the process.”
Nicole Johnson
Nicole Johnson
  Nicole Johnson has participated in Future Problem Solving for eight years. As a competitor in team and individual Global Issues Problem Solving, as well as Scenario Writing, she has been an award-winning participant at her Affiliate state competition and the International Conference every year. Coming from a small town, participation in FPS has exposed Nicole to issues and social relationships on a global scale. She has applied her problem solving skills in many real life situations, including a parent’s illness and the collapse of the roof on her home during a snowstorm. Nicole and her teammates maintain a rigorous schedule of preparation for FPS, usually spending 10-20 hours or more per week in research and practice. A teammate states: “Through our research and gained understanding of topics we also learn to care. Nicole radiates such love and care for mankind and the environment. She has a passion for everything she does and for all those involved.”
Olivia Zhu
Olivia Zhu
  Olivia Zhu has participated in Future Problem Solving for six years. During that time, she has attended the California FPS State Bowl and the FPSPI International Conference each year. She has competed in team and individual Global Issues Problem Solving, Scenario Writing, and of course, Presentation of Action Plan, winning many awards. Olivia is an ambassador for FPS. She mentors younger students and has organized other students to do the same. She has prepared materials to introduce parents to FPS, has raised funds to support the California FPS affiliate, and serves as an Affiliate evaluator. Olivia has found connections between her FPS training and almost every aspect of her education, including debate, English and history essays, physics topics, and Jeopardy games! She founded and is President of the FPS club at her school, involving nearly 100 students, and is currently designing a research system for sharing information between teams. Her coach states: “I technically coach her in terms of Future Problem Solving, but in a real sense she coaches all of us in both FPS and in personal ethics and selfless dedication to others.”
Olivia ZhuEmily Dirckze

Emily Dirckze of Loreto Normanhurst College in Sydney, Australia is the inaugural winner of this Scholarship. Emily's record of participation includes National successes in all three components of the program as well as individual and team successes at International Conferences. Her most outstanding achievements are two scenario writing places at IC - 2nd in 2006 as a Middle Division student and 3rd in 2009 in Senior Division. Emily was also a member of a Senior team which came 2nd in the Presentation of Action Plan Competition at IC in 2008. Emily became a national evaluator for the program in 2007 and was involved in the evaluation of both scenarios and booklets for the 2008 Australian Finals. Emily is passionate about Future Problem Solving. In concluding the personal essay in her application she wrote: "The FPS Program has been an absolute highlight of my life so far. I have benefited from my involvement in a multitude of ways; many more than I had ever imagined." In her senior school years Emily continued to contribute to the program by mentoring younger writers and fledgling coaches at her school, as well as competing individually, coaching a younger team, and evaluating. She continues her post-school involvement in FPS to this day.

Emily has been involved in FPS since her first year in high school in 2004. In that short time, she has participated in every component of FPS: booklet, scenario writing and community problem solving, as well as evaluating and promoting FPS within and outside of her own school. In addition to this involvement, Emily has won many awards both at the Affiliate and International levels. Last year, she had the opportunity to attend the International Conference as a member of the senior booklet team from Australia.

In her essay she said, “One of the unique potentials of Future Problem Solving is to inform students about global issues; not only does FPS teach students how to think, it also teaches us that there are issues worth thinking about…..The Future Problem Solving Program has been an absolute highlight of my life so far. …I will continue to promote FPS long after my competition days are over and hopefully through evaluating and possibly coaching I will be able to enrich the experience of future FPSers.”

Her coach, Mary Lane had many, many things to say about this outstanding student. She stated, “Another attribute Emily takes with her from the FPS experience is the understanding of how resilience and perseverance are important in pursuit of goals and dreams. Emily has had to accept losses as well as wins in FPS.

Failure to make an affiliate final one year after a rather harsh evaluation decision demonstrated much to her about the often fine line between success and failure, as well as the need to accept the ‘umpire’s decision,’ and try again. When others dropped out after this disappointing experience, Emily persevered with her usual passion for the program, formed a new team, and gained a win the following year.”