Custer County Foundation Awards $118,850 at the 2022 Scholarship Ceremony

Custer County Foundation Awards $118,850 at the 2022 Scholarship Ceremony
(L-R) Audrey Leach, Dr. Loren Jacobsen, Kennedy Garcia. Hazelle Jacobsen Headley Scholarship

ARNOLD–The Custer County Foundation held its annual Scholarship Award Ceremony on Sunday, March 20, 2022 at the Arnold High School Gymnasium in Arnold, NE.

Scholarships were awarded to high school students who had previously applied for a scholarship. Eighty students received individual scholarships in the total amount of $118,850.

Scholarships are made possible thanks to the generous donors of Custer County. Executive Director of the Custer County Foundation Lindsay Cook told KCNI/KBBN she is grateful for the donors who help make an impact to local students.

“It’s pretty cool that there’s that many generous donors that have either lived here or still live here that want to make an impact and help these kids out,” Cook said.

Recipients of the Forsyth Family Scholarship

Approximately 350 people attended Sunday’s ceremony in Arnold which included guest speaker Grace Magill as well as the donors and special guests who awarded the scholarships.

“It went fantastic. It was a great day and we awarded $118,850 to 80 students. It’s a pretty fun day! You don’t give out that much money in one day very often,” Cook said on the Get Up and Go Breakfast Show this week.

Cook also said she hopes the students who have received scholarships, or might in the future, have confidence knowing their communities believe in them.

“It should give them a little boost of confidence that there’s people who believe in them and want to help them achieve their goals and whatever the future might bring for them,” Cook said.

Video of the scholarships awarded:

Press Release from the Custer County Foundation:

Alicia Hermsmeyer, Board Member and President of the Custer County Foundation, conducted the welcome to the estimated 350 people in attendance.  Alicia also introduced our guest speaker, Grace Magill, who grew up in Arnold and graduated from Arnold High School.  Grace attended University of Nebraska Kearney (UNK) where she completed her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.  Grace currently lives in Kearney, Nebraska and is pursuing her Master’s degree in Business Administration at UNK.  Grace works on campus as the Communications and Programming Counselor.

Grace shared her story with the guests in attendance.  She mentioned her time at UNK was unique in the fact that she was a student and an employee. She shared a few things she has learned along the way. Going into college, money was almost a dirty word and no one talked about it. While working in the financial aid office, Grace learned that was not the case; she found people who talked about money were often more prepared. Another piece of advice she offered was you don’t reap too much reward without taking risks. She has seen students miss out on opportunities because they didn’t take a chance; you can’t be afraid to fail.   In closing, Grace gave some great advice stating, “people might not always remember what you did but people will always remember how you made them feel.”

This scholarship ceremony continues to be successful because of our special guests, the donors who travel from places like Kansas City and Lincoln, as well as many from Custer County.  Not only are they in attendance to present their scholarships, but to share great stories about their families and offer words of advice and encouragement.  Their presence also gives them an opportunity to meet the students whose lives they are directly impacting.  Another unique aspect of the ceremony is the element of surprise for the students receiving the scholarships.  Until their name is called, they are neither aware of the scholarship they are receiving nor the amount.  This anticipation makes the event even more enjoyable.

Executive Director Lindsay Cook announced eighty-five scholarships would be presented to eighty students for a total amount of $118,850 awarded!  Scholarships offered through the Foundation are for various fields of study including, nursing, veterinary medicine, journalism, lineman, and cosmetology to name a few.  Scholarships are available for four-year and two-year degrees.  She went on to explain the selection process and thanked the scholarship committee for their hard work and dedication in selecting the recipients.  Nearly 1,200 applications were received and selecting the recipients was not an easy task.  After all the awards were presented, the guidance counselors were thanked for all the assistance they offer the students with the application process.  The ceremony closed by inviting attendees to enjoy refreshments and cookies, while thanking those in attendance and wishing the graduates the best of luck as they begin new chapters in their lives.

The Custer County Foundation was established 31 years ago! Since their inception, the Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million in scholarships to Custer County students.  Dr. Loren Jacobsen presented the 1952 Football Team scholarship on behalf of the late Bill Penn.  Jacobsen said, “Bill graduated 70 years ago and this was his way of paying it forward. He loved Broken Bow and he loved to sit and talk about the football team.” If you would like to learn more about establishing a scholarship through the Custer County Foundation please contact the office at 308-872-2232 or [email protected]

Lindsay Cook told KCNI/KBBN “the sky is the limit” when it comes to what type of scholarship a donor/individual/business/group can establish.

The Custer County Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax exempt organization that was created in 1991 to promote charitable giving for the good of the communities of Custer County.  The steady growth of the Foundation is driven by donors’ generosity, and the ideas and beliefs that the Custer County Foundation can make a difference in the lives of the people who live and work in Custer County.  The Foundation exists because of people who have a desire to give back to the community where they lived, prospered, worked, and played.  

Best wishes and congratulations to all of our Custer County High School graduates!

Female Academic Scholarship
Adams Land and Cattle scholarship recipients
Mills Hartman Scholarship