With high school graduates facing the ever-increasing costs of post-secondary education, offering opportunity and financial assistance to students is an ideal many have but one that New Auburn School District is making a reality.
"We want to help students look to the future and let them know we can help meet the cost of their academic needs, a cost that is continually growing," notes Brenda Scheil, AgriScience Instructor and FFA Advisor at New Auburn School District.
The New Auburn School District Scholarship Seedling Fund is a designated fund that will help graduates of the New Auburn School District who are pursuing post-secondary education. Recognizing that opportunities are not as prevalent in a small community, the fund, once endowed, has a goal of offering a scholarship to every student who plans to continue their education, especially students who may not be eligible for other scholarships. "New Auburn is a small community that only has so many dollars offered as grants. There are just not as many opportunities in such a small community," says Scheil.
The Seedling Fund is beginning to flourish after being set up at the Community Foundation of Chippewa County. To encourage the community participation and honor those who contribute, donors are recognized with their name shown on The Legacy Tree display at the school. When asked about the display of donors, Scheil reflects "To look back and see the recognition tree, it reminds us that when we plant that seed, it grows into financial strength and shows the students we believe in them." The tree also sparks interest and enthusiasm from alumni and local individuals, inspiring them to also donate and help the youth of the New Auburn community. "We're creating a model that can educate students on the importance of paying it forward with the alumni setting an example for graduates to follow," says Scheil.
Beyond offering scholarships, the fund is teaching all New Auburn students about the power of belief and building a community. "Projects like this increase the strength of community and working with The Foundation has shown that when a community comes together, we can do anything," says Jerrett Kowalski, New Auburn School District School Counselor. The District has observed a positive spirit among students as they consider education beyond high school with excitement rather than hesitation.
Grants provide scholarships to benefit graduates of the New Auburn School District pursuing post-secondary education.