K-State scholarship winner to address training access for child care providers

MANHATTAN — Kansas State University freshman Grace Stanton is the recipient of the 2023 Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship from K-State Libraries.

She plans to use the award this summer to intern with the Northwest Kansas Economic Innovation Center to help coordinate the organization’s first child care provider conference.

Grace Stanton is the winner of the 2023 Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship from K-State Libraries. A freshman studying political sciences from Hays, Stanton is passionate about improving Kansans’ access to affordable childcare needs.

A political science student from Hays, Stanton is passionate about improving Kansans’ access to affordable child care needs. One of Stanton’s goals is to help make sure the first Innovation Center conference is a success.

“To maintain their child care license, providers are required to attain 16 approved training hours each year,” Stanton said. “But the problem is that it falls to each provider to locate and pay for their own training hours; that can be difficult for providers who are in rural areas or have limited resources. This two-day conference will provide those approved hours of training completely free.”

Stanton said the conference will give child care providers a space to network and connect with each other. She hopes her experience with the Innovation Center will help her get an in-depth understanding of the common issues facing at-risk Kansan communities.

“In addition to gaining practical experience by coordinating a regional conference, I am very interested in empowering child care providers to become stronger advocates for their profession,” said Stanton. “I will be designing an online survey for conference participants to get their opinions on the regulatory and legislative issues surrounding child care in Kansas.”

The Morse scholarship, awarded annually, provides funds to support a project or internship that gives a student the experience of working in community, state or federal governments or providing service in the nonprofit sector. The award honors Richard L.D. and Marjorie J. Morse’s lifetime commitment and activism to improve the quality of family and community life.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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