Kirkwood draws bright, involved students with $2,000 and $4,000 awards; hundreds benefit each year
For Derrick Betting, choosing a college after high school got a lot easier when a key letter arrived in his Garnavillo, Iowa mailbox. It was a piece of good news worth $2,000 from Kirkwood Community College.
“This scholarship has been a great thing. It gave me a lot of peace of mind not to worry about the money part of school. It got me off on the right track,” he added.
Betting is among the hundred-plus students receiving Kirkwood’s Leaders for Tomorrow and Presidential Scholarships in the past year. He was recognized not only for solid academic work at Clayton Ridge High School, but the many volunteer activities and leadership role he played in his hometown. Now he is studying toward a Kirkwood Liberal Arts degree with plans to transfer to an Iowa private university upon graduation.
For nearly two decades, Kirkwood has made the first year of college easier for hundreds of who have earned Leaders for Tomorrow and Presidential Scholarships. Another search is on for scores of involved, motivated students looking for financial support starting in the fall of 2010. The college also recently increased its scholarship award levels to emphasize the value of these potential community and state leaders.
Many of the students come from nearly every school district in the college’s seven-county service area. Others choose Kirkwood from across the Midwest. The ranks of Leaders for Tomorrow and Presidential award winners are not only academic stand-outs. Many others were leaders of clubs, organizations, sports teams and community betterment efforts.
Kirkwood Dean of Admissions Doug Bannon has seen the program “bring the best, the brightest and the most involved” students from the state to his campus.
“Kirkwood’s leadership put these two scholarship programs in place to help the students and also to raise the bar for our whole student body,” Bannon observed. “The neatest students in a high school setting are not just the ones getting straight A’s, although we reward bright students who will make their mark in the professional and academic worlds. Our Leaders for Tomorrow scholarships also attract and reward the young people who get involved and volunteer. They make their schools and communities better places to be. Let’s be honest. Bringing these great students and citizens to Kirkwood makes our college even better!”
Another current Kirkwood student benefitting from these top scholarships is Danielle Wakeham of Cedar Rapids. The 2009 Washington High School graduate is began her Nursing degree studies last fall. Her Presidential Scholarship award gives her “freedom to choose extra topics that interest me” in addition to her health science prerequisites.
“This scholarship really helps tremendously! I didn’t want to leave home just yet, and my Kirkwood degree will give me a lot of options for the future. I enjoy all the people I get to meet and I am sure of a good set of choices when I graduate from Kirkwood,” Wakeham added.
Kirkwood Leaders for Tomorrow scholarships are available to Iowa high school seniors with a cumulative GPA of a 3.0 or higher, in the top half of their high school graduating class and demonstrate strong leadership qualities. Up to 60 scholarships for $2,000 will be awarded to seniors who will be full time Kirkwood students in the fall of 2010 following high school graduation.
Presidential Scholarships are offered to Iowa high school seniors who score a minimum ACT score of a 25 or higher and also carry a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher. Up to 30 scholarships for $4,000 each will be available to students who meet these criteria and who will be full time Kirkwood students in the fall and spring following their high school graduation. This award is dispersed in $2,000 increments for the fall and spring semesters of the student’s first year, contingent upon maintaining a 3.25 GPA at Kirkwood.
Bannon estimates “about $850,000 we have awarded, easily” to Leaders and Presidential scholarship winners over the past years.
“For the students who led a school fund-raiser, who volunteer at their church or hospital, we have a program here that will recognize those contributions. And for those academically bright students who want a solid start to a four-year degree, we have support for them, too,” he added.
The deadline for Kirkwood Leaders for Tomorrow and Presidential scholarship applications is Wednesday, March 31, 2010. More information and online applications are available at the Kirkwood Web site:
Information is also available from Kirkwood Admissions: