Broken Bow High School students will get some help if they want to take college classes at Mid-Plains Community College, while still in school, thanks to the newly created Don Davis Early Entry Access Scholarship.
According to the online website, Bryan Davis and Kelly Davis-Orr initiated the fund in honor of their father’s commitment to education. Initially, the fund will provide scholarships to Broken Bow students who struggle to pay for college courses while still in high school.
Currently, Don is a leader with Craftsmen for Kids, a non-profit that makes and donates educational toys to head start programs in Appalachia. He was previously an educator in Broken Bow for 40 years as a teacher, school board member, and founding administrator for the Broken Bow Mid-Plains Community College branch.
Kaci Johnson, MPCC Broken Bow Campus Coordinator, said this is a great opportunity for Broken Bow students.
“This started just before Christmas. I was contacted by Don’s children and the idea was sprung to launch a scholarship in Don’s name for our early entry students at Broken Bow High School. Through some wonderful help through the [Custer County] Foundation and some hard work on really everybody’s part, it’s happening,” said Johnson.
During an interview on the GetUp and Go Breakfast Show, Don Davis said while appreciative of designation, he is excited to see what the scholarship can do for students at Broken Bow.
“I really appreciate what my kids did. It was quite a surprise and quite an honor really, but more importantly than that is what the scholarship can do,” said Davis. He also added that while the Custer County Foundation has numerous scholarships to offer to students, this scholarship is unique within the Foundation because it is the only one that can be used while students are in high school.
“This is a big deal because starting college these days is not like it used to be,” said Davis. “Students that don’t take college classes while they are still in high school, actually start college behind their peers at other schools. I’m glad to see Broken Bow keeping up.”
Kelly Davis-Orr, daughter of Don Davis, said that she and her siblings felt that it was important to give back while also honoring their father who helped teach at Broken Bow in multiple areas including distance learning and English classes.
While the scholarship is only in its first year and only available to Broken Bow students, Davis-Orr, said that she hopes the scholarship can continue to grow and expand to help students throughout Custer County.
“There’s only so much we can do. It would be great if we could get some other people to join in and contact the Foundation and help us with that,” said Davis-Orr.
According to Johnson, there are over 75 kids currently taking college courses while they are still in high school.
“The amount of classes that those kids take has grown so much in the last few years, so kudos to them,” said Johnson.
Ava Williams and Abigail Wiiest were announced as the very first recipients of the scholarship last week on the Breakfast Show.
If you would like to donate to the Don Davis Early Entry Access Scholarship, checks can be sent to the Custer County Foundation (403 South 9th PO Box 304 Broken Bow, NE 68822) or you can donate online: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/custer-county-foundation-inc/don-davis-early-entry-access-scholarship.
It is estimated that $80,000 will be needed for the fund to be self-sustaining.