Back row from left: BVU President Joshua D. Merchant, Cody Holtgrewe, Nathan Pedersen, Tuan Truong, Cody Goodwin, and Cory Goodwin. Front row: Heidi Coronel, Karole Iraheta, Diana Pastrana, Rocio Flores-Gonzalez, and Matthew Marroquin.

Back row from left: BVU President Joshua D. Merchant, Cody Holtgrewe, Nathan Pedersen, Tuan Truong, Cody Goodwin, and Cory Goodwin. Front row: Heidi Coronel, Karole Iraheta, Diana Pastrana, Rocio Flores-Gonzalez, and Matthew Marroquin.

May 9, 2018

Ten students attending high schools in Buena Vista County have been selected as recipients of Buena Vista University’s inaugural Education for Service Scholars scholarship program. The students, who were selected in March, had until May 1 to officially accept their scholarships. 

The Education for Service Scholars program was announced in December and awards up to ten four-year scholarships, all totaling in excess of the cost of tuition, each year to eligible students who graduate from a high school located in Buena Vista County. In return, the students will serve as Iowa College AmeriCorps volunteers in Buena Vista County communities throughout their four years at BVU. 

“We’re already proud of the recipients and look forward to helping them grow, learn, and lead. They are truly pioneers and we’re thrilled to attach our wagon to theirs because this is going to be one fantastic journey.”

Mike Frantz

In its first year, more than 30 area high school students applied for the Education for Service Scholars program. 

“We chose 10 outstanding individuals who will soon become a powerful cohort for this campus and this region,” said Mike Frantz, vice president for enrollment management at BVU. “We’re already proud of the recipients and look forward to helping them grow, learn, and lead. They are truly pioneers and we’re thrilled to attach our wagon to theirs because this is going to be one fantastic journey.” 

As part of the Iowa College AmeriCorps volunteer program, the cohort of students will take part in a four-year service plan that includes completing up to five hours of purposeful service activities per week, going on AWOL (Alternative Week of Off-site Learning) trips and other service-oriented retreats, participating in success coaching, implementing community-based research on and off campus, and more. The plan is designed to equip the students with exemplary personal, leadership, and professional skills. 

“I'm excited that I was chosen because it gives me the opportunity to fully focus on my academics and my community rather than finances,” said Matthew Marroquin, who is one of the scholarship recipients and is a current senior at Storm Lake High School. “I know in the next four years that I wish to implement social innovation across the community and aid in transforming the social narrative of Storm Lake in a positive direction.”  

Karole Iraheta, who is also a scholarship recipient and senior at Storm Lake High School, said, “Service is an important part in building a relationship with the community. I am looking forward to starting my education at Buena Vista University, and I can’t wait to give back to the community.” 

To be eligible for consideration, the cohort of students had to be first generation college students, earn a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA while completing a college prep curriculum, and be Federal Pell Grant and Iowa Tuition Grant (state) eligible. 

“Being chosen as an Education for Service Scholar not only brings excitement to me but also to my family,” said Rocio Flores-Gonzalez, a scholarship recipient and senior at Sioux Central High School. “My parents have done their best to instill in me the importance of volunteerism and service to others. The idea of volunteering has stuck with me and is an important part of my life. I’m more than excited to be a part of the BVU family this fall, and to start a new chapter in my life.” 

Frantz added, “We delivered the news to the recipients at their places of employment, in their schools, and in their homes. In my 29 years working in enrollment, I have never been more moved by student and parent emotion than I was in those moments. These are truly life-changing opportunities for the scholarship winners, and they know it.” 

A full listing of Education for Service Scholars recipients includes:

  • Heidi Coronel of Storm Lake, who attends Storm Lake High School
  • Rocio Flores-Gonzalez of Rembrandt, who attends Sioux Central High School
  • Cody Goodwin of Linn Grove, who attends Alta-Aurelia High School
  • Cory Goodwin of Linn Grove, who attends Alta-Aurelia High School
  • Cody Holtgrewe of Newell, who attends Newell-Fonda High School
  • Karole Iraheta of Storm Lake, who attends Storm Lake High School
  • Matthew Marroquin of Storm Lake, who attends Storm Lake High School
  • Diana Pastrana of Storm Lake, who attends Storm Lake High School
  • Nathan Pedersen of Newell, who attends Newell-Fonda High School
  • Tuan Truong of Storm Lake, who attends St. Mary’s High School