Huntington, Ind.—Huntington University sophomore Katie Hursey has been named an outstanding first-generation college student by the Independent Colleges of Indiana.
“My parents instilled in me the importance of a college education,” Hursey said. “I know it is important to receive a college education because I will have the ability to choose a job environment that I enjoy and one that fits my needs. If I did not attend college, I may not have certain options available to me.”
Made possible by a grant to the ICI from the Lilly Endowment, “Realizing the Dream” recognizes the triumphs of first-generation students in their first year of college. The student honorees are Indiana high school graduates who demonstrated superior academic performance during their freshman year and exhibited leadership in campus or community activities. A $1,000 grant will be mailed to the institution to be deposited into the student's account and applied toward the cost of his/her education.
“My dream is to work for my small-town newspaper, The Churubusco News, so I can stay active in my community through my journalistic efforts,” said Hursey, a journalism major. “I think it is important to return to my hometown to benefit others through my education.”
A resident of Columbia City, Ind., Hursey writes for the student newspaper, The Huntingtonian, and serves as a commuter assistant and note taker in the university’s Learning Center.
The “Realizing the Dream” program also celebrates the roles played by teachers and parents in shaping student aspirations for a college education. After being chosen by their college, the students then named the elementary or secondary teacher or counselor who most influenced them to attend college. These mentors will each receive a $1,000 professional developmental award.
“My third grade teacher, Mrs. Amy Jagger, inspired me to attend college. She always supported my creativity and abilities,” Hursey said.
Jagger previously taught at Churubusco Elementary in Churubusco, Ind.
Students from 31 independent college campuses in Indiana as well as their mentors will be honored at a banquet in Indianapolis on Oct. 28. The keynote speaker for the dinner is Jill Long Thompson, the CEO of the National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy.