PELLA – Twenty-three local students have been chosen to receive the Pella Rolscreen Foundation’s Sons and Daughter’s Scholarship.
When Pella’s founder Pete Kuyper started his window company in 1925, he aspired to create a place where people could feel truly proud of the company they worked for and the careers they were building. He cared about his team members and their families, making a point to personally give his employee’s high school seniors a $100 bill upon graduation, hoping to instill in them a sense of hope and purpose for their future.
Ninety-five years later, Kuyper’s vision to create a company that values investing in the next generation lives on through the Pella Rolscreen Foundation’s Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program. This annual program recognizes outstanding high school graduates whose parents are Pella team members, and since its inception, almost 700 scholarships have been awarded. Selection criteria includes academics, school activities, community volunteerism and essay responses. Recipients attending four year programs receive $8,000, and those attending two-year programs receive $1,500.
In April, the Pella Rolscreen Foundation awarded 41 college scholarships to exceptional students as part of the Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program. This year’s recipients represented company sites in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan and Pennsylvania. The 41 recipients were selected by a panel of external judges from a talented group of applicants representing nearly 50 high schools across 12 states; seven of the recipients are first-generation college students.
The following recipients are local students from the Pella branch:
Savannah Stalzer, Brooke Allen, Jase Amelse, Camden Barber, Gabriel Blom, Alexis Briggs, Andararose Buchanan, Logan Caudill, Dalaney Clark, Austin Dell, Thomas Gaul, Maddilyn Graves, Klaire Jungling, Hailey Kowzan, Jacob Nedder, Erica Nikkel, Grayson Parisee, Garret Putz, Kailee Quang, Emily Van Beek, Emily Van Norden, Ryan Vande Haar and Carissa VanZee.
There are many success stories that come from the Sons and Daughters Scholarship Program, and one of those is now a local Pella-based health care professional. Jonathan Schettler is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist at Anesthesia Iowa, and was a scholarship recipient in 2001, going on to graduate from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. He credits the Sons and Daughters Scholarship for helping him find the best possible career fit.
“I was a beneficiary of this scholarship for four years, and that was integral in me deciding what I wanted to do with my life,” Schettler says. “Without the financial burden of college loans, I was free to make the right decisions for my future.”
Because of Pella’s ongoing commitment to their team members and families, students like Schettler can look back on their college years and see what a difference the scholarship made in finding their career path. His message to the current Pella team is a reminder of the importance of investing in the next generation.
“The Sons and Daughters Scholarship helped me achieve the education I needed, and there is a certain satisfaction that comes with being able to provide a service to the Pella community and people that helped make that all possible,” Schettler says. “Thank you for continuing to do this. It matters.”