Two local college students will be graduating from Indiana State University next month with their financial burdens significantly eased from a $30,000 four-year scholarship.
Holly Handlin, of northeast Vigo County, and Rebecca Shorter, of Seelyville, both received the Gongaware Scholarship before they entered into their freshman year at ISU.
"Part of the Gongaware Center's mission includes recruiting top high school students into the Insurance and Risk Management major and helping them build the necessary technical, operational and leadership skills that will lead to success in the industry, their communities and in their personal lives," says information posted on the Gongaware Center's Web site.
Both of the ISU Senior Insurance and Risk Management majors said they are thankful for the scholarship.
"The Gongaware Scholarship has provided me with the opportunity to focus on my education and has relieved the financial burden of college," said Handlin, who is also majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Marketing and Economics.
"It has also provided me with many opportunities for success. The center has enabled me to network with executives in the financial services industry, to develop my leadership skills and to plan for my future," she said.
Shorter said, "The Center provides a stable backbone and assistance to all students in the College of Business and an experience well beyond the classroom. Through my four years, I have been very active and have assumed leadership positions within student organizations."
Shorter also is majoring in Finance and Business Administration while minoring in economics.
"My wide array of interests lead me to pursue these majors and minor even though it might be odd or unheard of to graduate with three majors. I have been able to accomplish this within four years and I am happy I have chosen to complete these degrees," she said.
Both of the students were contacted by ISU during their senior year and asked to interview for the scholarship. Currently only nine students at ISU receive this scholarship, according to the Web site.
While the deadline to apply for a Gongaware Scholarship has already passed, this is something high school juniors searching for colleges to apply to should examine, said Mary Ann Boose, ISU Insurance and Risk Management coordinator.
The scholarship is only available to students coming into ISU as freshmen, Boose said.
In addition to being co-scholarship recipients, Shorter and Handlin are also friends.
Shorter said, "Holly and I have become very good friends over the past four years."
Handlin said, "I have also formed great friendships and had many fun experiences. This past summer, Rebecca Shorter and I traveled throughout Europe for five weeks. It was an amazing experience."
The trip was sponsored by the Gongaware Center, Shorter said.
"We not only learned about the economy of Europe through the experience, but we gained valuable knowledge and increased self-confidence through the opportunity," she said.
Shorter and Handlin said they plan on continuing their education following their May 7 graduation. Shorter will begin the Master of Business Administration program at ISU while Handlin will attend Law School at Indiana University-Indianapolis.
More information on the Gongaware Center and scholarships available can be located at http://www.gongawarecenter.com.