Silver Valley residents/businesses step up to support NIC students

Many Silver Valley residents believe that supporting Shoshone County students equates to a contribution toward the future of the county. And since the opening of the North Idaho College Silver Valley Center last year, the people of Shoshone County have invested in their future both through support of the center and by establishing scholarship support for students utilizing the center’s services.
The region showed support early on when the City of Kellogg entered into an agreement with NIC allowing the college to operate the Silver Valley Center from the former Kellogg City Hall.
The NIC Silver Valley Center opened Jan. 18, 2005 with limited academic and community education classes. In the past year, the center has served more than 400 students enrolled in academic, workforce training and community education classes.
“The people of the Silver Valley have been supportive of the center since its inception,” said NIC Silver Valley Center Educational Resources Coordinator Becky Powers. “Having strong educational resources is an economic stimulator. In just a year of operation at the center, we’ve seen offerings expand and enrollments skyrocket. NIC is helping to meet an important need right here in the Valley.”
Vince Rinaldi, director of the Silver Valley Economic Development Corporation
 (SVEDC), believes that supporting education has a direct link to the vitality of the county. That is why he helped lead the effort by the SVEDC to establish a scholarship for dual credit students at North Idaho College.
“The dual credit scholarship was formed because we felt that the NIC Silver Valley Center, the new business in town, needed our support to help it become a success,” Rinaldi said. “It certainly has been successful and we are pleased to be helping high school students from the Silver Valley better themselves through additional education in math and science. This is a long-term workforce development activity and also an incentive to business relocation prospects.”
Four students participating in NIC’s dual credit program, which allows qualified high school students to enroll in NIC courses for both high school and college credit, received the SVEDC NIC Dual Credit Scholarship this semester.
Autumn Warren of Kellogg High School, Heather Scott of Wallace High School, Sheena Goldhagen of Kellogg High School and Tiffany McClain, a home school student from Osburn, each received $235 to help cover the cost of tuition, books and supplies.
“The most important thing to remember about scholarships for Shoshone students managed through the NIC Foundation is that 100 percent of the funds go to help deserving Shoshone County students in their pursuit of an education,” said NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson.
But Anderson stressed that current support for Shoshone County students can only be spread so far.
Of the 184 students from the Silver Valley who enrolled at NIC last fall, 64 received scholarship support. If all students attending from the Silver Valley were enrolled full time, their total fees for fall semester would be $173,696. Financial assistance only covered $59,517, meaning only 34 percent of the total financial need for Silver Valley students was met.    
 “Many perceive that there is enough scholarship money to benefit all Shoshone County students attending NIC, but that just isn’t the case,” Anderson said. “Many Shoshone County students are attending without financial assistance and there may be an even greater portion that would pursue an education if assistance was available. There is a definite need.”
A group of Shoshone County residents hoped to meet that need last summer when they joined forces to raise funds for the Shoshone County Community Scholarship as part of the NIC Providing Opportunities—Fulfilling Dreams Community Campaign. The committee included Vern Hanson, Gail Harding-Thomas, Joan Head, Archie Hulsizer, Doris Miller, Cheryl Morgan, Colleen Pettis, Steve Shepperd and Powers.
A total of $1,675 was raised toward the $5,000 goal, the minimum needed to establish an endowed scholarship that will live in perpetuity through the NIC Foundation.
 “The goal can still be reached with the continued support of the people of the Silver Valley,” said NIC Alumni Relations Coordinator Sara Fladeland who headed up the Shoshone fundraising committee. “People of the valley take pride in the ability to take care of their own, and these scholarships are just another way of doing that.”
Those interested in learning more about contributing to the SVEDC NIC Dual Credit Scholarship or the Shoshone County Community Scholarship are encouraged to attend the NIC Silver Valley Center Info Fair from 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 15. The NIC Foundation will be on hand providing information on these and other charitable giving opportunities. Information will also be provided on admissions, advising, workforce training, adult basic education and associate degree programs offered by NIC.

For More Information
NIC Silver Valley Center Educational Resources Coordinator Becky Powers, (208) 783-1254, or NIC Foundation Executive Director Rayelle Anderson, (208) 769-5978

Posted: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2006

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