Volume 14 - Starke County Students Reach for the Stars!

posted Oct 26, 2016, 10:21 AM by North Judson-Wayne Township Public Library   [ updated Oct 20, 2017, 10:57 AM ]
Education is important for individuals to become contributing members of society. However, a college education is becoming more expensive all the time. Without outside sources, post-secondary education can seem unattainable for high school students. In order to address this problem and to help educate our community’s future workforce, many donors have established scholarship funds with the Starke County Community Foundation (SCCF).

SCCF scholarship funds vary in size and criteria. Oftentimes, donors wish to support students who plan to pursue a career in a field that they are passionate about or that they themselves pursued. Other donors support students graduating the high school from which the donor graduated, or students planning to attend the university the donor attended. Each unique scholarship varies by the motivation of the donor who created it. 

The Ed Hasnerl/WKVI Scholarship Fund was established in 1999 by Ed Hasnerl and WKVI to provide scholarships to qualified graduating seniors. Students must be Starke County residents planning to study history, arts, communications, or media-related subjects.

Ed Hasnerl is a well-known resident of Starke County. His unmistakable voice is recognized from his WKVI radio show Talking of Many Things. He has traveled the globe and has owned and co-owned several businesses. He and WKVI wanted to establish their scholarship in order to promote education and to support those seeking jobs in the field of media.

The Nella Kersting Memorial Scholarship Fund supports North Judson-San Pierre High School seniors planning to attend any college, university, trade, or vocational school. This scholarship was created by Sandra Kersting-Rudd in 2007 in memory of her mother, Nella Kersting, who passed away in 2003. 

Nella and her husband, James Kersting, built a successful business together, Kersting’s Cycle Center, and raised a close-knit family. Those who knew Nella remember her as a loving, dedicated, and humble person. Through the Nella Kersting Memorial Scholarship Fund, her family is able to commemorate her and support the community in her honor. 

The Steve L. Toth and Donna M. Toth Family Fund was also created in memory of a loved one. Donna Toth established the fund in 2010 in commemoration of her husband, Steve, who passed away in 2008.

Steve was a hard-working farmer and employee at NIPSCO, and Donna is an SCCF board member and has been very involved in the community. She remembers the wonderful life she and Steve had together. This scholarship supports students graduating from Oregon-Davis High School who have at least a 3.0 GPA, but who are not in the top 5% of their graduating class. 

In total, the SCCF has 36 scholarships funds. Since inception, the SCCF has awarded $2,887,305 in scholarships, including the Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship, to graduating Starke County seniors. We at the SCCF hope that we are able to help Starke County students obtain post-secondary education or training and that they will return to their communities to help contribute to and improve Starke County.

Next week we’ll be talking about designated funds and how several of these support our local churches.