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Rudd Foundation Awards $1.4 Million In Scholarships To 25 Kansas High School Seniors

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Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids, and graduated from Valley Heights High School in May of 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications.After stops at KFRM and KCLY radio in Clay Center, he joined KNDY in 2002 as a board operator and play by play announcer. Derek is now responsible for the digital content of Dierking Communications, Inc. six radio stations.In 2005 Derek joined the staff of KCFX radio in Kansas City as a production coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, which airs on over 94 radio stations across 12 Midwest states and growing. In 2018 he became the Studio Coordinator at the Cumulus Kansas City broadcast center for Kansas City Chiefs Football.

Wichita, KS. March 19, 2019 – The Rudd Foundation is proud to announce its second class of Rudd Scholars who will each receive a 4-year college scholarship to attend either Emporia State University, Fort Hays State University or Wichita State University. The scholarship covers all remaining tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board. The expected value for all 25 winners over four years is $1.4 million.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the exceptionally high-caliber, well-rounded students that were chosen for this year’s Rudd Scholarship,” said Peter Najera, President of the Rudd Foundation. “We expect them to maintain their grades and graduate in 4 years and in return they will earn their degree debt free.”

This year, 15 students will be going to Wichita State, 5 will attend Emporia State, and 5 will take their scholarship to Fort Hays State. The Rudd Scholarship is earned through a competitive selection process that requires grades, test scores, essays, letters of recommendation, and for the 50 semifinalists a personal interview. The process opened in the Fall and drew hundreds of applications from all four corners of the state.

“Kansas high schools continue to produce very talented young men and women imbued with the Midwestern values of grit, determination and work ethic and we are excited to make an investment in them through a college education,” said Najera. “These 25 recipients, in addition to the 19 previously selected, brings us to a total of 44 Rudd Scholars in college who will continue to support each other as they are groomed to strengthen the talent pipeline here in Kansas upon graduation.”

In addition to living on campus and carrying a full load of classes towards their college degree, scholars will receive mentoring and success coaching to help them graduate in four years. They will also participate in many developmental activities outside the classroom, network with leaders in their future professions, build strong relationships among themselves, and serve to help the next generation of scholars through an active and connected alumni association after graduation.

“In just two more years we will have nearly 100 Rudd Scholars on campus learning from one another,” said Najera, “and a few years after that they will all be networking with one another throughout the state as they continue on their trajectory of being positive contributors to our Kansas communities and society as a whole.”

About the Rudd Scholarship

The Rudd Scholarship is a renewable, 4-year program that covers any remaining cost of attendance after all other aid, grants, and scholarships are applied to a student’s account. Cost of attendance includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, and room and board. By removing financial barriers to a college education, chosen scholars are expected to achieve a high level of excellence on campus in preparing themselves to be leaders in their profession and in their communities after graduation. More information can be found online at www.ruddfoundation.org, Twitter (@RuddFoundation), Instagram (@ruddfoundation), Facebook (@RuddFoundation) or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/rudd-foundation/).

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