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KSBA News Article

2021 First Degree Scholarships awarded, expanded to include CTE

Scholarship winner Billy Lim

Kentucky School Advocate
June 2021

Staff report

KSBA Educational Foundation awarded $2,500 First Degree Scholarships to four Kentucky public high school seniors during KSBA’s 2021 Annual Conference. Recipients were previously drawn at random by KSBA’s board of directors from a pool of applicants. In addition to certain academic criteria, eligible applicants must be the first members of their immediate families to receive a degree from a postsecondary institution.

“For many of us at KSBA, the awarding of our First Degree Scholarships is perhaps our favorite conference tradition,” KSBA Executive Director Kerri Schelling said during the presentation. “It reminds our members why they pursued board service – for the success of students. It affirms the work of public schools – to educate and prepare students for whatever comes next. And it is where we as an association put our money where our mouth is.”

The 2021 First Degree Scholarships were made possible by sponsors American Fidelity Educational Services and Houchens Insurance Group Education along with the generous contributions of KSBA members and friends.

This year marked the 10th anniversary of the scholarship program which next year will expand to include students entering Career and Technical Education programs (CTE). At the 2022 Annual Conference, the association will present the inaugural CTE scholarship for use toward technical training, apprenticeships, certificate programs or degrees that align with Kentucky’s career and technical education framework.

KSBA Educational Foundation chairman David Turner, a Walton-Verona Independent school board member, said the expansion will require more of KSBA and its members.

“If we are to continue to offer more First Degree Scholarships each year to seniors bound for postsecondary success, and if we are to award new scholarships for students to pursue in-demand CTE opportunities, it will require us to dig deeper, work harder and raise more funds,” Turner appealed to conference attendees.

Scholarship recipient Dylan Wilson (not pictured), a senior at Bell County High School, plans to attend Harvard University where he will study government and economics. “I am extremely grateful that I was chosen as a KSBA First Degree Scholarship recipient,” Wilson said. “This scholarship will help tremendously in aiding in my goal of graduating college debt free. Thank you KSBA.”

Top photo: Billy Lim (center), a senior at Allen County-Scottsville High School in Allen County, is pictured with family.
Lim plans to attend the University of Kentucky to major in biology to pursue a career in medical toxicology or biomedical engineering. “I am very thankful for being able to win this award,” Lim said. “I want to thank my friends, family, and teachers for helping me to get to this point in my life.”

Rikayla Fallen (center), a senior at Martha Layne Collins High School in Shelby County, is pictured with the Shelby County Board of Education and Superintendent Sally Sugg.
Fallen plans to attend Jefferson Community and Technical College, eventually transitioning to either Western Kentucky University or Sullivan University. She aspires to be involved in children’s counseling.
“As a first-generation college student, I’m thankful to receive this scholarship”, Fallen said. “This money will help me work towards receiving a degree in psychology.”


Trang Nguyen (second from left), a senior at Dixie Heights High School in Kenton County, is pictured with family members, Dixie Heights Principal Nathan Niemi (left) and Kenton County Superintendent Henry Webb (right).
Nguyen plans to attend the University of Cincinnati to study nursing. She aspires to be a pediatric nurse at either a family practice or in a hospital setting.
“The education and opportunity that is gifted to me will be a positive domino effect on my life and my future generations,” said Nguyen. “I am forever grateful to KSBA and God for blessing me with a chance to experience this moment.”


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