Jonas Wagner “Viva la Vida” Memorial Scholarship

The Jonas Wagner “Viva la Vida” Memorial Scholarship was established by representatives of the Eden Prairie DECA in conjunction with Bill and Nancy Wagner, parents of Jonas.

Jonas Wagner loved “living the life.” He loved sports, music and water activities. He had a goofy sense of humor, and was affectionate with family and friends. He was intelligent, responsible, playful, confident, creative and willing to try new things. He loved his job sharpening skates, listening to 80s classic rock music, Star Wars Legos, snowmobiling, hunting, fishing and watching action shows with the volume up too high. According to his friends and family, he brought laughter and joy to a lot of people.

The Wagner family established the Jonas Wagner “Viva la Vida” Memorial Scholarship to honor Jonas’s life and help others ease the pain that Jonas couldn’t escape, the hopelessness that led to his death in June 2021.

Teen suicide is the second-leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. ages 15 to 24, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, contributing around 21.5% of deaths in this age group. More than half of students in grades 9 to 12 reported that they had seriously considered attempting suicide in a 2019 survey.

Many teens who attempt or die by suicide have a mental health condition. As a result, they have trouble coping with the stress of being a teen, such as dealing with rejection, failure, breakups, school difficulties, family turmoil, personal loss, sexual orientation confusion, physical and sexual abuse, or being the victim of bullying.

And yet death by suicide is preventable. Everyone has a role to play in suicide prevention by building supportive communities and reaching out to help others in crisis. By working together, we can all help save lives.

Are You a Good Potential Applicant?

This scholarship is awarded to an Eden Prairie High School senior who contributes to the mental health and wellness of others at school struggling with mental health challenges. The scholarship recipient shall have:

  • Participated in band (preference to jazz or marching band); and/or
  • Been affected in some way by mental health challenges or suicide; and/or
  • A demonstrated track record of care, concern and support of others struggling to overcome the hardship of mental illness or suicide ideation; and/or
  • Shown a commitment to pursue post-secondary education leading to a profession that will help increase mental health wellness and suicide prevention.

Students must complete the EPHS Multi-Scholarship Application, provide an official transcript and letter(s) of recommendation, and a response to this question:

Why are you interested in positively impacting the lives of others battling mental illness or considering suicide? How are you hoping to make a difference? Because Jonas loved music, give your answer a title that’s also the name of a recognizable song.

Only information contained on the application form will be considered.

Award Amount:  $1,000 per academic year, to two students each year.

How to Apply:

The application process will take place through Eden Prairie High School’s Multi-Scholarship Application process. Applications are open December through February.  A committee will choose the recipient and the scholarship will be awarded at the EPHS Senior Community Scholarship Awards night on May 16th.

Step 1: Get a letter of recommendation from a teacher. This scholarship requires a letter of recommendation. Letters of recommendation currently in SCOIR will be used. If you do not have a letter of recommendation in SCOIR, one must be uploaded by a teacher or emailed to Ms. Gee by February 9, 2024 at 11:59pm.

Step 2: Complete the Multi-Scholarship application through EPHS’s online SCOIR system. The application form can be found in your My Drive in the student SCOIR portal. The application form is available from December 15 through February 9, 2024.


Current & Past Recipients:

  • 2024 Avery Coutts, Madison Gatchell
  • 2023 Nicholas Quirin
  • 2023 Madison Bonkowske
  • 2022  Hailey Heimkes
  • 2022  Julia Matthews

Thank You For Your Support!

It’s because of you, our donors and partners, that we can support Eden Prairie students.