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Pictured Above: Twelve students from Fillmore County high schools were awarded the Earl H. Wilkins Scholarship. (Back row left to right) Lucas Swartzendruber (President / Heartland Trust Company), Jan Stoldorf (Vice President / Geneva Branch President), Tanner Ourada, Elizabeth Hayes, Corey Maloley, Daniel Andrews, Garrett Whitley, Andrea Mumm (Universal Banker), John Wilkins (Chairman / CEO / President). (Front row left to right) Aiwa Temme, Sophia Frook, Ashley Benorden, Tristen Mosier, Cole Jividen, Katherine Schoenhals. Not pictured: Catherine Mick.

For 47 years, Heartland Bank has been providing scholarships to help local students continue their education. The Earl H. Wilkins Scholarship fund, administered by the Heartland Trust Company, is awarded to Fillmore County high school graduates seeking post-secondary education.

This year’s recipients consisted of seven college freshmen and five sophomores. The students come from a variety of majors, ranging from education, medical, agriculture and mathematics.

"[I decided to become a teacher because] education is the foundation for life," Cole Jividen, elementary education major, said. "If you don't have it, you get behind in life."

Some students decided on their major due to their life experiences and wanted to share the experience with others.

“Teachers are important for America’s youth. I was a troublemaker in school. My teachers helped change me and I want to do the same,” Corey Maloley, secondary education major, said.

Others recognized their strengths.

“Math is my strong suit. I didn’t actually know what actuary science was until my junior year,” Ashley Benorden, actuary science major, said. “You have to take a lot of calculus and I like calculus.”

Recipients acknowledged the benefits of receiving the scholarship, past the monetary value.

“[Having a scholarship, like this one from Heartland Bank] is really beneficial. Finances are one of the biggest stresses of college,” Ellie Hayes, psychology major, said. “I’m a member of a sorority, which has really helped me grow as a person and I wouldn’t be able to afford that without my scholarships.”

Scholarships also help relieve stress for those planning on extending their education past an undergraduate degree.

"Trying to finance college is a huge stress. On top of wanting to go to grad school, it helps reduce my potential debt and lets me focus on my schooling," Tristen Mosier, exercise science major, said.

Scholarship recipients

Ashley Benorden

Ashley Benorden

Ashley is from Exeter and a graduate of Exeter-Milligan High School. She is the daughter of Mark and Starlene Benorden.

Ashley is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, majoring in actuarial science, which is the use of math and statistics to assess risk in insurance. Once she graduates from college, she plans to work for an insurance firm or a private corporation. She is still deciding if she’d like to stay in Nebraska or travel to the east coast.

Daniel Andrews

Daniel Andrews

Daniel grew up in Geneva and graduated from Fillmore Central High School. He is attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and majoring in Electrical Engineering.

He is a member of the UNL student branch of  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). After completing his college education, he plans on returning to Geneva and working in the family business.

Sophia Frook

Sophia Frook

Sophia is a pre-nursing major at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Next year, she plans on applying for the nursing program at UNMC. Her goal is to be a NICU nurse practitioner.

She is a member of the sorority Alpha Xi Delta, where she serves as the academic achievement assistant chair. She is also involved in the Red Cross club and Special Olympics College. During her free time, she enjoys running, rock climbing and watching Netflix.

Corey Maloley

Corey Maloley

Corey is an alumnus of Fillmore Central High School. He is furthering his education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, majoring in secondary education with endorsements in social sciences and special education.

As a past trouble-maker, Corey knows exactly how hard it was for teachers to educate him and he eagerly looks forward to the prospect of doing the same for the generations to come.

 

Tanner Ourada

 

Tanner Ourada

Tanner is a graduate of Fillmore Central High School. He is currently a freshman at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln majoring in biochemistry.

He is a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Nebraska Human Resources Institute (NHRI) club.

 

Aiwa Temme

Aiwa Temme

Aiwa is a Fillmore Central High School alumna. She is currently studying pre-physical therapy with a minor in Spanish at Wayne State College. She is in the honors program and the alternate for the Rural Health Opportunities (RHOP) scholarship.

After receiving her degree at Wayne State College, she plans on going to medical school to get her degree in physical therapy. Aiwa would like to work in a hospital like setting or a small physical therapy business once she completes her education.

 
 

Garrett Whitley

Garrett Whitley

Garrett is currently enrolled in his third quarter at Southeast Community College in Beatrice. Upon graduation, he will have two associate degrees, one in Agri-business and one in agronomy, along with a precision technology certificate.

After graduation, Garrett plans on transferring to Northwest Missouri State to receive his bachelor’s degree in Agri-business. Between quarters and on weekends, he comes home and helps his dad with chores and works for a couple of farmers.

 

Elizabeth Hayes

Elizabeth Hayes

Elizabeth (Ellie) is a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is currently studying psychology with a humanities in medicine minor.

Upon graduation from UNL, Ellie hopes to attend Creighton University to receive a doctorate in occupational therapy.

Cole Jividen

Cole Jividen

Cole is a graduate of Fillmore Central High School. Originally starting his college career at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, he transferred to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln for his sophomore year. He is majoring in elementary education with an endorsement in special education and coaching.

In his spare time, he works at Scheels and is on the “Hit Squad” at the home Husker volleyball games.

Katherine Schoenhals

Katherine Schoenhals

Katherine is from Fairmont and the daughter of Tom and Kim Schoenhals. She is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, majoring in elementary education and special education.

Her future plans are to become a first, second or special education teacher. She hopes to begin her career at Fillmore Central Elementary School.

Tristen Mosier

Tristen Mosier

Tristen is in her second year at Concordia University. She is an exercise science major with a double minor in biology and psychology. A member of the track team, she competed in pole vault at the outdoor Nationals in Alabama last year. Tristin is also involved in the Health and Human Performance (HHP) club and Pre-Med club.

She hopes to become a physical therapist and work in a rural setting.

Catherine Mick

Catherine Mick

Catherine is currently attending the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. She is pursuing a degree in secondary science education.

After college, she plans to further her education in the medical field or return to a small town and teach science.

Brianna Turek

Brianna is the Media Specialist at Heartland Bank. She graduated from Hastings College with a major in Web Communication Design. She enjoys reading, photography, playing volleyball and weightlifting in her spare time.

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