Kelsey Marsolek has a dream of becoming a human resources professional, and so far things are going pretty well as she starts her journey through classes at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). However, challenges lie ahead, including financial ones. That’s why she is so appreciative of a $1,000 scholarship awarded to her through US Bank in Eau Claire.
“It’s great. I’m going to use it to pay my tuition for the fall semester. I also need it to pay for the gas to and from school and other expenses,” she said.
The cost of higher education and the debt that often weighs down on students is an increasing problem. That’s why scholarships make such a big difference for students.
“I have taken out a couple of loans, and I want to get them paid off as soon as possible,” Marsolek said. “I also work part time at Ashley Furniture, in the corporate office in customer service. But I plan on transferring to a university, so the (debt) burden will get larger.”
Kelsey’s story is a familiar one. Many like it were told over tables at the CVTC student commons April 23-24, when the CVTC Foundation hosted its annual Scholarship Awards Receptions. Over 240 scholarships totaling over $130,000 were presented.
At the events, scholarship recipients were paired at tables with representatives from the families or organizations that generously donated the scholarship funds. Often donors create scholarship funds to memorialize a loved one, or support a cause, but it all comes down to making a difference in the lives of the recipients.
In Kelsey’s case, US Bank District Manager Keith Dawson represented the donor.
Tanner Tenpas, a FireMedic program student in his third semester, met with Robert Druschel, representing the Virgene Druschel Memorial Scholarship. Virgene worked at CVTC for over 30 years and the family created the scholarship in her honor after her passing.
“It makes a huge difference,” Tanner said of the $500 scholarship. “There are a lot of additional costs other than tuition in the program.”
He explained that he needs several different certifications to work in the field, and they often come with testing or equipment fees. He’s well aware of how much tuition and fees can lead to debt before he even starts a professional career.
“I went to a university for a year, and came out $20,000 in the hole,” he said.
Robert is happy to get a chance to meet the scholarship recipients, and to hear how the family’s efforts will make a difference for them. “Last year’s recipient was helped out a lot, too. He was supporting a family,” Robert said.
Amanda Hovey was the recipient of the Dawn Bosold Women Business and Accounting Endowment, created in memory of the long-time financial director at CVTC.
“Education is so important, for my wife and myself. It’s the way to success in the future,” said Dawn’s husband, Bob Bosold. Dawn was a staunch supporter of women being in responsible jobs and having a say. She was an advocate for women improving themselves and getting into management.”
Bob was able to learn how the $500 award is going to help Amanda. She already graduated from CVTC in the Agriscience technician program, but returned to begin her studies in accounting.
“I want to go to a university and get my bachelor’s degree and then get my CPA (certified public accountant). I want to do something in ag accounting in the long run.”
It’s a good plan, but requires significant investment now, and tuition and fees are not Amanda’s only expense. “I drive here every day from Alma Center,” she said.
All around the CVTC commons for two nights such stories were shared, and many thanks expressed. Among those offering his words of gratitude was CVTC President Bruce Barker.
“We want to thank you for your generosity and your investment in CVTC students,” he said.