Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship Program Aims to Strengthen Students and Their Communities
The program will help 15 future BVU Beavers in each of the next four years achieve their collegiate dreams, as an anonymous benefactor’s incredible $1 million gift provides renewable scholarships.
Storm Lake High School senior Fletcher Kucera was awestruck upon learning he’d qualified for one of the 15 inaugural Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarships offered this fall for Northwest Iowa freshmen enrolling at Buena Vista University.
The children he coaches were just as thrilled.
“I coached a fifth-grade basketball team during the winter,” says Kucera, a prolific volunteer who is a member of the Storm Lake High School Key Club service organization and helps at a food bank. “When I told my team I was going to BVU and could keep coaching them as sixth-graders, they were pretty fired-up.”
The Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship Program will help 15 future BVU Beavers in each of the next four years achieve their collegiate dreams as an anonymous benefactor’s incredible $1 million gift provides renewable scholarships of $5,000 per year to students like Kucera, who hail from a 19-county region of Northwest Iowa and pledge to continue serving others in their communities.
“These gifts truly show how BVU benefactors and the students we’re recruiting live out our motto, ‘Education for Service.’”
BVU will support students in the program by employing an academic coach in each of its four schools: the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business, School of Science, School of Liberal Arts, and School of Education. Coaching responsibilities include assisting students with academic and non-academic issues and challenges, accessing school resources and career preparation to ensure each student’s ability to succeed and graduate from BVU.
“It has given me great joy to be able to contact these deserving students and let them know they’ve qualified for our first round of awards in the Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship Program,” says BVU Director of Admissions Conner Ellinghuysen. “These gifts truly show how BVU benefactors and the students we’re recruiting live out our motto, ‘Education for Service.’”
Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship recipient Katherin Ramirez has been a volunteer at her church, Nueva Esperansa, in Sioux City, for five years. She helps guide young people at Bible School. Her goal is to major in social work.
“My main goal is to one day become an immigration representative and work in an embassy,” says Ramirez, a Sioux City West High School senior who expresses gratitude for a scholarship that paves the way for her to reach higher.
The same goes for Kucera, who concludes, “I want to continue to give back to my community any chance I can.”
The following is a list of the 15 recipients of the inaugural Buena Vista University Invest in Rural Iowa Scholarship, all of whom will begin their freshman year at BVU in August: Dahlen Bryce, Sergeant Bluff; Heber Marroquin, Sheldon; Katherin Ramirez, Sioux City; Kole Wiegert, Storm Lake; Dayne Lewis, Sloan; Fletcher Kucera, Storm Lake; McKenzie Harding, Cherokee; Elijah Santellan, Storm Lake; Santiago Moral, Storm Lake; Megan Morenz, Newell; Katlynn Burch, Cherokee; Jenny Almanza, Storm Lake; Francisco Gonzalez, Storm Lake; Haley Stauter, Lake City; and Brandon Steil, Algona.