Elevate Scholarship helps students achieve their educational goalsJan 02, 2024 10:42AM ● By Becky Ginos
Viewmont High School graduate Larson Rupp was a recipient of the Elevate Scholarship awarded by the Mountain America Foundation. The Foundation awarded $300,000 in scholarships last year. Courtesy Photo
BOUNTIFUL—The Mountain America Foundation, recently launched the Elevate Scholarship program. It is the second year the institution has given out scholarships to students in multiple states and here in Davis County. Last year, they awarded $300,000 in scholarships to 120 students. Several local students received the scholarships.
“It’s people helping people,” said Marissa Bernards, Director of Government & Community Engagement for Mountain America Credit Union. “Education makes such a difference in the community. We gave 120 students a $2,500 scholarship.”
It’s exciting to see this happen with the Foundation, she said. “Mountain America leadership has really gotten behind this.”
There are qualifications to receive the scholarship, said Bernards. “We wanted to capture as many graduating students as possible. We’ve added a contingency for kids who may not go straight to college and graduate from high school in 2021-2023.”
Some students delay higher education because of military, religious or humanitarian reasons, she said. “It’s for students who are going into higher education in the fall of 2024 for the first time.”
They’re not required to be a member of Mountain America, Bernards said. “We open an account if they win a scholarship.”
Bernards said they want to make the scholarship accessible. “It’s partially their academic record (20%) but we also look at their character, core values, work ethic and leadership and how they contribute to community and volunteer groups.”
Youth are looked at as a whole, she said. “You might not have the very best grades but you are a good individual. Who they are is more important than what grades they got in high school. Making a difference isn’t always shown on a transcript.”
Some kids have special circumstances, said Bernards. “They might be working to support their family or have issues of their own. There’s a lot more to the story than their scholastic record.”
Applicants are reviewed unanimously, she said. “We don’t allocate a state and we take out any identifying information. That makes it equal so that all students have a fair shot based on their application.”
This is the second cycle of the program, Bernards said. “The funds are not just for a four year college. You can receive it for accredited technical schools or two year colleges. In the last pool of applicants most went to universities, and a handful went to vocational schools in things like HVAC and culinary programs.”
It is not limited to what higher education means, she said. “It’s whatever fits the student’s needs post high school.”
Viewmont graduate Larson Rupp received the $2,500 Mountain America scholarship and is now studying at Utah State University. “I graduated from Viewmont in May,” he said. “I’m going into aerospace engineering.”
The scholarship definitely helped, said Rupp. “I put it toward tuition. I’m lucky enough that my parents are helping with housing but everything else is covered with that scholarship.”
Rupp was in the National Honor Society at Viewmont and was involved in Students Making a Difference that did service projects in the community and at school.
“We left notes and candy with words of encouragement to students,” he said. “I also attended a Red Cross leadership camp where I learned how to become a leader and help others.”
When he’s not in the classroom, Rupp enjoys mountain biking, cars and airplanes. “Really anything that moves,” he said. “I want to do airplane design for a career.”
Rupp said Mountain America is a great institution. “They’re making a difference in helping students get the education they want.”
The application window opened Dec. 11 and closes Feb. 11, 2024. To apply go to https://www.macu.com/about/community/mountain-america-foundation/scholarship-notification-form.