This year marks the 85th year of the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo and for more than 30 of those years The North Texas State Fair Association has given back and supported the Youth, Agriculture, and the Community by awarding graduating high school seniors scholarships. Each year they select a winner for the North Texas State Fair Association Scholarship and another for the Bob C. Powers Scholarship to honor Bob Powers, long time Treasurer and Fair Director. Both scholarships are worth $1000 each. Every few years they award a senior the Continuing Education scholarship which is worth $5000. Each year graduating seniors have the opportunity to apply for each scholarship by June 1st. The winner is announced in July.
Each year the fair association strives to maintain its commitment to the youth in this Community and throughout the North Texas area, through scholarships, various programs, facility donation, and purchasing projects at Youth Fair. “The fair believes in investing in the future of our youth by offering scholarships to our graduating seniors and the goal of these scholarships is encourage and help students further their education. We are very proud to be able to award these scholarships to the youth of this area,” said Nanci Kimmey, NTSF Association Executive Assistant. They also enjoy seeing the success and accomplishments of each student who has received the scholarships in previous years.
One of the past winners of the Continuing Education Scholarship is Ashlee Schertz, who was awarded the scholarship in 2007. Ashlee, who grew up in Sanger, Texas and graduated from Texas Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in Energy Commerce, believes that “receiving the scholarship from the fair really allowed her to have the college experience she always wanted.” Because she didn’t have to worry about funds she was able to study aboard for a semester and pursue several other opportunities such as internships that eventually led to her current job at Conocophillips as a Landman.
Growing up Ashlee participated in several activities especially throughout her high school career, including volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, business professionals of America, STUCCO, NHS, Denton Area Youth Council Leader, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Senior Class President and much more. But one activity that has always been a major part of her life is FFA since she comes from a ranching/farming family. She and her brother have been showing cattle since she can remember and not only bonded them as a family but also made the NTSF an integral part in their lives. She was even a NTSF princess in the 5th grade. Because she was well acquainted with the fair, applying for their scholarships as she prepared for graduation was a given and though she received other scholarships Ashlee feels that the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo Continuing Education Scholarship played a big role in her college career. “The fair genuinely cared about my success in college as well as my success after graduating,” states Ashlee. “This has inspired me to want to give back to others in my community and encourage others to seek out scholarships and unique opportunities so they too can enjoy the college and working careers they have always dreamed about.”
The NTSF scholarship has also touched her family as well. According to Ashlee’s mother, Cheryl Schertz, their “family was, and remains, grateful to the North Texas State Fair organization not only for the help to our daughter’s future that the Continuing Ed Scholarship provided but primarily for the experiences, values, and fundamentals of life that being a part of this group and the fair’s events has always brought us.”
Both Ashlee and Cheryl encourage every senior to apply for the fair’s scholarships because it enables students to take advantage of the numerous unique opportunities college offers because they aren’t worrying about funds and can place their focus elsewhere.
“In the recent climate of our changing world, any financial assistance that can be given to college students that will help reduce their out-of-pocket costs and possible need for student loans is of tremendous benefit,” states Cheryl. “Young people are graduating college these days with student loan debt that sometimes equals a mortgage. Kudos to the NTSF for doing as much as they can for the next generation!”
Both mother and daughter pose the question “Why in the world would you not apply?” Both agree that scholarships can open many doors and that organizations “create/give scholarships have a genuine wish/passion for young people to be successful in life. By applying for those scholarships, you will be honoring their memory or passion for young people. If no one is willing to take advantage of what they are offering, it would be very disheartening those people you’ve never met who truly care about your future. They care. They’ve established a help mechanism for you. Acknowledge them by showing interest in what they have done” states Cheryl.
Ashlee firmly believes that the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo and her community helped her get to where she is. She strongly encourages others to apply for as many scholarships as possible especially the ones that holds a special meaning and will continually encourage and support students throughout their college career. Ashlee also believes in paying it forward. “I share information about scholarships and other opportunities with others as much as possible. There are people out there who want to help you. You can succeed to if you work hard. My community helped me and I want to help others and show them that they too can succeed not matter where they start.”
This year graduating seniors in the Denton County area can apply for the North Texas State Fair Association Scholarship and the Bob C. Powers Scholarship by June 1st. The recipients of each scholarship must maintain an academic good standing status each semester. Seniors don’t miss the chance at something special, apply online at http://www.ntfair.com/scholarships.shtml today.