Many scholarship donors to Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) arrive at their decision to make a lasting contribution because they realize that their support will have a powerful impact on students, the success of their families and the communities where they live for years to come.
After Deb Merrill, owner of Homestead Iowa Realty in West Union, lost her son Oliver in a car accident, the family decided that establishing a scholarship in their loved one’s memory would make the most profound difference in the lives of others and honor his legacy.
“My son Jeremy is a 1994 NICC Industrial Electrician graduate and it was his wife Stacy’s idea – also an NICC graduate – to honor Oliver’s memory by creating the Oliver Merrill Memorial Scholarship,” Merrill said. “I have watched three people close to me enroll at Northeast Iowa Community College and learn real skills that are put to use in their careers after graduation.”
Creating the scholarship, which is available to NICC Industrial Electrician program students, offered the family an opportunity to give to future generations and it affirmed the importance of an education earned at a community college.
“My view is that a four-year degree is not for everyone, and it isn’t always the best career answer. Colleges like NICC teach students the skills they really need. I know my son Jeremy, with his electrician degree, has a lot of job opportunities available to him,” she said. “That’s something that will always be with him.”
NICC students who receive scholarships because of the generosity of donors share their own compelling stories each year. Stacey Leppert, an Associate Degree Nursing student at the Calmar campus, spoke at the Scholarship Luncheon in April 2014 to share how financial support for her college education created opportunities that would not have been possible.
“I have learned that education is a privilege – a privilege filled with opportunity. Scholarships give single mothers, like myself, a chance to go to school, receive an education and create those opportunities,” said Leppert, who has two young daughters. “I am grateful because my future as a nurse is linked to Northeast Iowa Community College’s amazing faculty, staff and assistance through scholarships.”
Because of the continued support of donors, NICC has been able to achieve the extraordinary including: awarding more than $4.5 million in NICC Foundation scholarships since 1984; conferring more than 28,000 degrees, diplomas and certificates since 1966; and partnering with local business and industry to provide workforce training for more than 25,000 new and existing jobs since 1985. Through gifts made to the NICC Foundation, donors are helping students to realize their dreams of a college degree.
You can make career successes possible for NICC students and their families, and contribute to the vitality of communities throughout northeast Iowa! Visit www.nicc.edu/donors to learn more.