FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — The Highland Community College Foundation is part of $1.9 million in grants and scholarships over the next five years from Compeer Financial through the Agriculture and Rural Initiative to 30 post-secondary colleges.
The College will receive two, $1,500 scholarships for the next five years for students in agriculture. Highland is also among the colleges selected to apply for a larger contribution between $25,000 and $50,000 for the agriculture department.
“Compeer Financial has been a strong partner with the Highland Community College Foundation for many years,” said Jeff Reinke, executive director for the Foundation. “This new initiative will provide a very meaningful increase to our scholarship support for students focused on local agriculture vocation training and education.”
Reinke adds, “We are thrilled to be selected as a partner college to apply for a larger contribution focused on growing our agriculture program in Northwest Illinois. This financial support, partnered with our leading-edge faculty and facilities, creates a lasting legacy for agriculture education in our region.”
The commitment from Compeer Financial has more than doubled their investment for the next five years to the College. The company invests in projects, scholarships, and grants that will help increase student enrollment in fields that are important to the local economy.
Compeer Financial acknowledges the shortage of skilled workers is an ongoing challenge for farmers and other agriculture-related businesses. They partner with community colleges to bolster vocational agriculture education programs to make them more accessible to students. The total grant and scholarship money is earmarked for educational training for students pursuing a future in agricultural-related careers.
“Supporting students through scholarship awards is one of the most direct ways that our community can impact students,” said Monica Pierce, Agriculture instructor. “Every year, we have more students apply for scholarships that we can award, and we are thankful that Compeer Financial assists in helping us close the gap between financial need and assistance available.”
Pierce added, “In addition, we look forward to partnering with Compeer through this new initiative to help us meet larger program goals in the near future.”
For more information on Highland’s agriculture program and available scholarships visit highland.edu.