The first cohort of the Papenfuss Scholars Program has been announced.
Recent Winona Area Learning Center graduates Devin Foster (software and web development), Faith Borzyskowski (nursing), Ethen Infield (construction technology), Zachary Weilandt (electronics technology) and Ike Scholl (computer engineering technology) were surprised last week by WALC staff carrying balloons, congratulatory signs and — best of all — news that their academic expenses at Minnesota State College Southeast are covered.
The Papenfuss Scholars program was made possible thanks to the Jerry & Patricia Papnefuss Family Fund of the Winona Community Foundation. Jerry and Pat Papenfuss are longtime supporters of MSC Southeast, and this scholarship program will provide opportunities for students who might not otherwise see themselves as college-bound.
“This gift is providing an incredible opportunity for our students,” WALC principal Emily Cassellius said. “Our students know how much the staff at the Winona Area Learning Center care about and support them, but knowing they are recognized and supported by community members means so much to all of us — the students and staff. The entire staff at the WALC is grateful for this gift and the opportunities it will open up for our students.”
The scholarships will cover all tuition and fees after other state and federal grants and/or additional scholarships have been applied.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must have graduated from the WALC within the past 18 months and be enrolled as a full-time student at MSC Southeast in a career or technical education program on a certificate, diploma or degree track. All applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Students selected as scholars must attend regular meetings with the college’s Student Success Advisor during the academic year. They will be strongly encouraged to attend meetings in the summer to ensure their academic success.
Program participants will receive a $250 living stipend once per academic year, and they will be eligible to receive additional living expense grants throughout their time in the program on an as-needed basis.
Eligibility requirements include:
- Student must have graduated within the past 18 months with a high school diploma from the WALC
- Enroll as a full-time student (minimum 12 credits) and complete the program within two years
- Enroll in career or technical education (CTE) program
- Enroll in a certificate, diploma or degree track
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
The application process required a narrative provided by the student and two letters of recommendation (one from a WALC staff member). Staff from the WALC and MSC Southeast comprised the scholarship selection committee, and a scoring rubric was used to sort through the applications.