Forty-five Northland Pioneer College students have been awarded over $32,000 in scholarships for the 2018-19 academic year from NPC Friends and Family. The non-profit foundation supports Northland Pioneer College, primarily through raising need-based scholarships for students across the college’s 21,000-square-mile service area.
“In keeping with the commitment of the NPC Friends and Family board, students from every campus and center received awards,” notes executive director Betsyann Wilson. “We had an unprecedented number of students applying for the Spring 2019 semester, with 68 qualified applications.”
Four new NPC Friends and Family scholarships were available for spring. The Jeanne Swarthout Presidential Excellence scholarship was initiated by the friends of Dr. Swarthout to commemorate her July 2018 retirement, and to honor her career in education, and especially her years of dedication to Northland Pioneer College. It provided $1,000 to the inaugural awardee, Ashely DeMaria of Holbrook, a first-year nursing student. Ashley was also selected to receive the Pres Winslow Memorial Scholarship and is a member of the 2019 All-Arizona Academic Team.
The Jon Graff, Ph.D., Fund was established by Dr. Jon Graff, a longtime participant in Pedal the Petrified, the September bike tour of Petrified Forest National Park. The ride has become Friends and Family’s premier fund raiser, and Dr. Graff has been a silent partner in supporting the event since 2013.
As he came to know about NPC and its inspiring students, he made the decision to create an endowed scholarship fund to help them achieve their educational goals. He chose to award three categories of NPC student: those who are enrolled in a degree program for university transfer; those enrolled Career and Technical Education programs; and those enrolled in College and Career Prep classes, in pursuit of their high school equivalency diploma and an opportunity to take college-level courses.
Vaughn Willeto, winner of the Jon Graff, Ph.D. College and Career Prep Scholarship, is a resident of Whiteriver and a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe. He is enrolled in an innovative Construction Technology program at NPC’s Whiteriver Center which allows him to concurrently work toward his GED and Certificate of Proficiency in Construction Technology, which comes with several nationally-recognized, portable credentials qualifying him for employment in the construction field.
Cynthia Owen of Snowflake was awarded the Jon Graff, Ph.D. University Bound Scholarship. Some very tough and personal family experiences inspired Cynthia to begin the process of pursuing a degree in social work. It is her plan to complete her associate’s degree at NPC, then transfer to Arizona State University to complete a Bachelor’s degree with the goal of “helping people get their feet back under them when life has knocked them down.”
Sun Valley resident Brooke Alexander attends NPC with both of her sons, and all of them competed for the Jon Graff, Ph.D. Career and Technical Education Scholarship. “I told Brooke they’d have to duke it out to see who won!” Wilson laughs. In the end, the scholarship committee determined that Mom prevailed. Brooke is enrolled at the Painted Desert Campus in Holbrook where she is pursuing a degree in Welding. She distinguished herself with her Welding instructor as a natural talent, but more than that, she is an outstanding student in all her general education courses. In fact, one of her letters of reference came from Dr. Eric Henderson, her Sociology professor, who noted that she had “by far, the highest grade in class.”
The winner of the Spring 2019 Charles Listizky Memorial Scholarship, is Jessica Austin of Kayenta. She is working toward her Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education (AAEC). The VAL 153 Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Jennifer Wood, a member of the Concho Volunteer Fire Department, who is pursuing EMT certification, so she can better serve the needs of her department and community.
The following students were awarded the $500 Leg-Up scholarship: Hannah Dwyer, Amanda Holly McDaniel, Lori Moore, and Cynthia Owen.
Winners of the $500 Fill-the-Gaps scholarship included: Brooke Alexander, Ian Alexander, Jessica Austin, Theresa Burris, Katie Gibson, Rinda Hancock, Ivy Honie, Jamie Ortega, Nicole Smith, Austin Stanislawski, and Diane Vaoga.
“These outstanding NPC students are succeeding in spite of all the odds. Many of them are the first generation in their families to attend college. Lots of them are coming back to school while coping with the responsibilities of caring for children or elders. Most have incredible financial need, and they succeed because of the scholarships made possible and sustained by generous people like you!” exclaims Wilson. “You can help NPC students like these to reach their educational goals by donating to any one of these scholarships, or to the Eagle Fund, where your gift will provide scholarships to those NPC students in greatest financial need.”
All donations to NPC Friends and Family, a 501 (c) (3) organization, are tax deductible. NPC Friends & Family is organized exclusively to support the mission and goals of Northland Pioneer College through advancement of college programs and services, establishment and growth of student scholarships and positive promotion of NPC. For more information about fundraising events or creating or donating to a scholarship, please contact Betsyann Wilson at (928) 536-6245, email, or consider making a gift today by visiting www.npcfriendsfamily.org.