Scholarship America Announces Recipients of Midwest Scholars Dream Award

MINNEAPOLIS (March 9, 2018) – Scholarship America®, the nation’s largest nonprofit scholarship and education support organization, is pleased to announce the recipients of the new Midwest Scholars Dream Award given to students who have completed or expect to successfully complete at least one full year of postsecondary education by June, 2018.

“This generous award was created through a $2 million one-time gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous,” noted Robert C. Ballard, Scholarship America’s president and CEO.  “It is a tremendous opportunity for outstanding students in 12 states in the upper Midwest and will be awarded annually for five years.”

Ten students will receive $15,000 scholarships for the 2018-2019 academic year.  They include:

  • Joseph Batcher, Menomonee Falls, WI – a Civil Engineering major, Milwaukee School of Engineering
  • Jasmin Buffenn, Southfield, MI – an Integrated Studies major, Oakland University
  • Vincent Fedorko, St. Louis, MO – a Speech Communications major, Webster University
  • Ana Leyva, South St. Paul, MN –a Music Education major, Minnesota State University Mankato
  • Crystel Minor, St. Louis, MO – a Biology major, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Charmi Patel, Hanover Park, IL – a Molecular and Cellular Biology major, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Janeth Reyes, Kansas City, KS – a Biology major, University of Kansas
  • Alyssa Stevens, Wessington, SD – an Entrepreneurial Studies major, South Dakota State University
  • Noel Tolvanen, Sioux City, IA – a Biology major, University of South Dakota
  • Yamilet Vazquez, Des Plaines, IL – a Nursing major, Harper College

“I feel like I have won some kind of life lottery,” said Vincent Fedorko. “This scholarship will allow me to finish my degree.  …The weight off my shoulders is more than I can describe in words. “

“I am a DACA student and am unable to receive any aid or loans from the government, or from many other scholarship programs….  I thank organizations like yours who believe in students regardless of their background,” wrote Janeth Reyes. “My ultimate goal is to be accepted to medical school, and I am excited for what is to come.”

The Midwest Scholars Dream Award is limited to students who have earned a high school diploma or the equivalent from a school in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota or Wisconsin. In addition, students must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0, demonstrated financial need and the ability to overcome challenges and barriers.  Awards are renewable and increase in amount each year.

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Pam Carlson

About Scholarship America®
For 60 years, Scholarship America has worked directly with students, parents, colleges, businesses and communities to empower people to fulfill their college dreams. As the nation’s largest private education support organization, having distributed over $3.9 billion to more than 2.4 million students, Scholarship America is now working to further engage the private sector to support programs and policies that advance equity in postsecondary education and help students overcome barriers to access, persistence and attainment. More information is available at or by following @scholamerica.

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