As one of twelve kids, Luke Becker knows what it takes to stand out in a crowd. With his strong academic record, solid work ethic, and passion for arboriculture, Luke was an obvious choice to be awarded a 2013 John Wright Memorial Scholarship from the TREE Fund.
Luke’s first foray into a “green industry” was in the summer after sixth grade, when he started a lawn mowing business. Despite attracting only three customers, he quickly realized he was destined to work outdoors. After graduating with honors from high school, he enrolled as a Horticulture major at Kansas State. The summer after his freshman year, Luke had the opportunity to work in the tree care division of VanBooven Tree Care and fell in love with the tree care industry. He was so taken by tree care, in fact, that he volunteered to be the tree climber for Kansas State’s Landscape Contracting Team at the national Professional Landcare Network’s (PLANET) competition in March 2013. The thrill of competing (and winning third place) in such an event further solidified his choice to work in tree care.
Luke is very grateful for the financial support offered by the John Wright Memorial Scholarship. “The burden of paying for my own college has been scary at times… but if I had a choice, I wouldn’t change my situation. I see it as a challenge to be conquered.” After graduation, Luke intends to pursue a career in the tree care industry and aims to become a certified arborist. While he works hard at school, he is looking forward to summertime, when he can get back to the trees.