One of the fortuitous features of being a student at Western Nevada College is that so many people look out for you and help you in pursuit of your higher education and professional goals.
For many students at Western one of those helping hands is WNC Foundation, which annually raises hundreds of thousands of dollars in student scholarships. These scholarships can mean the difference between someone attending college or going directly into the workforce.
Now working for the Nevada State Senate, Kaitlin Lucky recalls how much scholarships meant to her while attending WNC.
“The Davison Family Scholarship was essentially the catalyst for my success as a student at both Western Nevada College and Gonzaga University,” she said. “I would not have been able to afford to go to college right out of high school had I not received that scholarship. In addition to the Davison Family Scholarship, I also received multiple grants to help fund my education, which allowed me to get my associate degree without needing to pay a large amount of money. The biggest benefit to me was knowing all throughout my time at WNC, someone believed in me enough to help fund my education. It helped to push me to do well in school.”
The growth of the Foundation’s Scholarship fund has created more educational opportunities for students.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community, WNC Foundation scholarships have grown significantly over the past five years with more than $600,000 in funding available annually,” said Niki Gladys, WNC Executive Director of Advancement. “This year, the deadline is April 1. By filling out the short application, students will be considered for a variety of scholarships.”
Lucky said that students shouldn’t hesitate to apply for the scholarships.
“I highly recommend everyone apply for scholarships,” Lucky said. “They help take a lot of stress off students because the student does not have to constantly worry about money for tuition, which allows them to focus a lot more time and energy on their education. The people who provide scholarships through the Foundation want to help students.”
With WNC administrators helping and believing in her, that encouragement made Lucky more determined to succeed in her classes. Lucky showed her appreciation by making the Dean’s List every semester, leading to induction into Phi Theta Kappa. She also became involved in student government, worked on campus and volunteered for many WNC fundraising events to show her appreciation for what the college had done for her.
“The achievements I accomplished at WNC were able to set the standards and drive I had when earning my bachelor’s degree,” Lucky said. “In fact, the push to do so well in school, leading me to be inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, actually resulted in me getting a very sizable scholarship for academic excellence when I was accepted to Gonzaga University.”
Lucky’s concerns of being able to transfer to a university of her choice after earning her associate degree were alleviated when she transferred to Gonzaga, a university attended by others in her family.
“After about one semester at WNC, I was enjoying myself there so much, and I really started to understand that the ‘Start Here, Go Anywhere’ motto that WNC has is extremely true,” Lucky said. “The university I transferred to, which is one of the top-ranked universities in the nation, was impressed with the achievements I had accomplished at WNC, which is why I got so many scholarships there as well.”
Lucky graduated from Gonzaga with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Criminal Justice.
From the perspective of a college graduate, Lucky knows what a degree can mean to someone’s professional career. She also knows that students need to understand the importance of taking advantage of the help that is offered along the way.
“I actually actively recommend to people looking at college that they should earn their associate degree at WNC and then transfer to a university to earn their bachelor’s degree,” Lucky said. “I also actively recommend to people that they should apply for any and all scholarships they qualify for.”
Current and prospective students can apply for Foundation scholarships through April 1 at wnc.edu/financial/types-of-aid/#foundationScholarship.