Andrea Carballo (left) and COC Executive Director Rod Braun (right) at Wednesday’s Pella Christian High School’s Awards Night

Christian Opportunity Center (COC) selected Pella Christian High School’s Andrea Carballo as the 2017 Sarah M. Braun Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Named in honor of the late daughter of COC Executive Director Rod Braun and his wife Robin and made possible by the COC Foundation Fund, the $1,000 scholarship is presented to a high school senior pursuing an academic focus in human services.

Carballo plans to major in biology at Georgetown University beginning in the fall of 2017, pursuing a future in the medical or education fields with the purpose to help those who are less fortunate in her native country of El Salvador.

Daughter of Jose and Karem, Carballo achieved a 4.0 GPA during her high school career and received numerous accolades including: Academic Achievement Award, Student Council President, Congress of Future Medical Leaders, Mock Trial State qualifier and cross country and tennis team captain.

A member of Third Reformed Church, Carballo led Sunday School and Vacation Bible School and participated in youth group and small group. Carballo also traveled to El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua on mission trips.

Criteria for the scholarship include academic performance, extracurricular activities, community involvement, and personal character and personality. Applications for the scholarship are accepted from all COC service areas.

Founded in 1969, COC provides residential and vocational support and services to more than 300 people with disabilities in Mahaska, Marion, Polk and Warren counties. For more information visit