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NCMC Scholarship Recipients Recognized


February 22, 2022

Averi Norris, Taegan Dunks, and Craig Foster
Left to Right: Averi Norris, Taegan Dunks, and Craig Foster
Ronda Copple, Tocarra Williams, and Sue Nichols
Left to Right: Ronda Copple, Tocarra Williams, and Sue Nichols
Averi Norris, Taegan Dunks, and Craig Foster

The 2021-2022 North Central Missouri College Scholarship Reception was held on Wednesday, February 16th, in the Jeanette Hoffman Robison Auditorium at the Ketcham Community Center. Over 260 students were recognized for receiving an NCMC Foundation, Athletic, SSS, or other institutional scholarships. The North Central Missouri College Foundation hosts this annual event. Phyllis Jackson, NCMC Foundation Board Member, welcomed over 180 guests and thanked the Foundation Board for their stewardship of scholarship investments and the NCMC Board of Trustees and President Klaver for their leadership. NCMC student Ashley Sterkis of Albany, MO, performed the National Anthem and Jason Helton, NCMC Director of Business and Industry Relations, was the emcee.

Three NCMC Foundation scholarship student recipients shared their stories about being a first-generation student, being uncertain in their original college choice, how you are never too old to keep learning, and their appreciation for receiving a scholarship.

“I am the first of my family to attend college,” shared Averi Norris from Hale, MO, and recipient of the Judge V. C. (Casey) Rose & Dorothy Freidrich Rose Scholarship for Ethics and Good Citizenship. “I had to ask people outside of my family for help with tasks like applying for college or help with the FASFA. It was hard. I never imagined the hardest part of college was filling out your parents’ information for the government to decide to give you money. This is why when I was asked to help jumpstart our First Gen club here at NCMC, I, of course, said yes. I wanted to create a club with fellow first-generation students that can help oncoming students.”

Jeanette Hoffman Robison Scholarship and Student Senate Scholarship recipient Taegan Dunks from Jamesport, Missouri, started her post-secondary education at a four-year university with a different career plan, only to realize it was not what she wanted. “I came to NCMC with bare minimum expectations. Throughout high school, all I wanted was to get away from where I grew up, so I never really gave NCMC a second thought when it came to where I got my college education. However, NCMC has honestly been exactly what I needed to find myself, learn my passions, and build a sense of community to help me succeed. From day 1, I felt like I was in a safe environment, I didn’t feel like I needed to hide parts of myself to fit in, and I felt like I could truly be myself for the first time since I graduated high school. In my time at NCMC, I was given the support system that I needed to truly explore my options and find my true passions.”

The final student speaker recipient of the day was Craig Foster from Bethany, Missouri. Craig has worked as an EMT for many years, and while he found that work rewarding the physical, effects were taking a toll on his body. Therefore, Craig decided to back to school, “I took a good look around one day and realized that most of the supervisors, and all of the mid-level managers around me were younger than I was. There was effectively no potential for career advancement. I took one or two courses a semester (at NCMC); this allowed me to pay cash as I went, and I could test the waters and see if going back to school at nearly 50 was something I was ready to do. I did well, maintaining a 4.0 throughout those first semesters taking online courses. In the fall of 2020, I became a full-time student in the practical nursing program at NCMC. It was not an easy task. I was carrying the load of a full-time student while, at the same time, working a full-time job can be a bit overwhelming. I had my first experience with student loans and began searching for scholarships to assist with school expenses. I have to tell you that the scholarship options for an adult, not a graduating senior from high school, are slim. I applied to the NCMC Foundation and was awarded the Elizabeth Barton Memorial Scholarship. Then this year, I added the Cameron Regional Medical Center Scholarship to the total.  I cannot begin to tell you how much the scholarships mean to me. They allow a bit of breathing room.”

In addition to the student speakers, NCMC faculty/staff members Tocarra Williams, Student Support Services Assistant Director; Ronda Copple, Business Faculty; and Sue Nichols, PN to ADN Online Nursing Coordinator, shared about their programs and departments as well as the impact that scholarships have on NCMC students. Alicia Endicott, Executive Director for the NCMC Foundation, closed the program thanking everyone for attending and the scholarship investors for their dedication and support of NCMC students.

The NCMC Foundation is a 501c (3) IRS-approved organization that raises funds through different campaigns, including the Gifts in Action Scholarship Campaign. Through scholarships, students are given a chance to develop as a student, an individual, and a member of the community. The NCMC Foundation works with North Central Missouri College to help transform lives and empower students. For more information on creating or adding to a scholarship investment, please contact Alicia Endicott at (660) 357-6403 or [email protected].