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Scholarship students thank donors

Non-traditional student speaks on behalf of students

October 27, 2017
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer (apeterson@esthervillenews.net) , Estherville News

Oct. 20, the Iowa Lakes Community College Foundation held a Scholarship Recognition Event to thank foundation donors for the impact they make on a student's education. Around 100 people attended.

Jo Rogers, Executive Director of Community & Business Relations, college president Val Newhouse, and donor Judy Weipert of Spirit of Harmony delivered welcome, remarks and updates.

Weipert said to music scholarship student, sophomore Kaycee Arrowwood, "We believe in you, Kaycee, and we're so proud of you." The Spirit of Harmony Music Scholarship comes from the Spirit of Harmony Chorus. The Chorus is a member of Sweet Adelines International, a worldwide organization committed to advancing the musical art from of barbershop harmony through education and performance. The chorus has great interest in promoting music in the lives of young people as they are the future of the organization. Weipert said women or girls of any age are invited to join.

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Student Jennifer Astello stepped up to the mic and said, "As I walked up here, I could see the faces. Is she a student? Is she staff? I am a non-traditional student. Can you believe a student stopped me in the hall and asked me if I worked here?"

Astello, 32, is in her third semester of the Digital, Social and Broadcast productions program at the college. Her college expenses are covered by scholarships, including one from the Iowa Broadcasters Association and the Stanley O. and Alma Young Scholarship.

Astello, a married mother of children ages four and five, said, "I've always had an interest in news, broadcasting and anything television and radio. Last year after visiting my mother in Denver, Colorado, I saw several broadcasting jobs, but I realized most jobs require a degree."

Astello said, "Iowa Lakes had the perfect program that I was looking for, so I applied. The staff at Iowa Lakes really helped me and encouraged me until all the paperwork was finished."

Astello said she did not apply for scholarships the first semester, but the last two semesters she did, and was awarded enough money to pay for her college.

"I cannot even begin to tell you how much this means to me and what you as donors have done for me. Not only have you changed my life, you have changed the life of my children forever. Who knows what my children will become, and who knows what impact me going to college will have on them."

Astello said her children always want to help on her school projects. Sophia, 5, loves to take pictures and video, and Astello's four-year-old son is always watching YouTube.

Astello said to the donors, "I may never be able to repay you, but I may one day be able to give, just as some of you once gave to me."

Representing the body of scholarship students, Astello said, "Do not thing for one minute that your giving is in vainI am only one student, one story. Think of all the other students who have been blessed by their scholarship donors; they all will have their own stories of how these scholarships have changed their lives forever."

Astello has made Dean's List two semesters in a row, going on a third. She hopes to work at Univision or NBC Universal in Denver after she graduates at the end of 2018.

"Who knows? Maybe that dream is too small. I'm even thinking of getting a bachelors in broadcasting and television productions. I've even [gone] further into the future and thought I could go just three more years after getting a bachelors, and get a juris doctor degree. You have made me feel like I can accomplish anything," Astello said.

Astello told the donors, "When you give to scholarships, you are not only changing one person; you are changing an entire generation."

 
 
 

 

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