First Class of Mike Rowe Scholarship Winners Begins at MTI

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The first students to be named winners of last year's inaugural mrWF/MTI Scholarship Program began their coursework last month at Midwest Technical Institute's Springfield, Ill. campus.

Launched in 2013 in collaboration with the mikeroweWORKS Foundation, the program embodies MTI's mission to provide students with the hands-on, skills-based training necessary to compete in today's job market and close a nationwide skills gap in a number of vocational industries similar to those headquartered in the Springfield area.

Each year seven students at each of MTI's seven campuses receive a 100 percent tuition-paid scholarship for any of MTI's mechanical trade, allied health, transportation or cosmetology programs. Last year's winners include Nathan Dickinson, Journeyman Welding Program; Trent Horney, Journeyman Welding Program; David Morehead, Journeyman Welding Program; Devin Stoops, Journeyman Welding Program; KayLea Schoenweis, Medical Assisting Program; and Keirsten Eickhoff, Dental Assisting Program.

To be eligible for consideration, students were required to be graduating seniors during the 2013-2014 academic year and submit a short essay and video detailing why they deserved to win a scholarship. Videos were then posted to MTI's campus Facebook pages for a period of public voting where the video with the most votes was named a winner.  

While only seven students at each campus were chosen as winners, MTI's Director of High School Development Eric Gleason believes the process of merely applying for this year's scholarship offers students valuable experience in discovering their work ethic.

“Students who go through the application process are dedicating themselves to an objective,” Gleason said. “Students and parents also get a chance to experience the one-on-one approach that makes us [MTI] who we are.”

Gleason also feels the program empowers today's high school students to think outside the box when it comes to their post-secondary education, adding, “Our mission is to show these students there are viable options besides college.”

Submissions for the 2014-2015 mrWF/MTI Scholarship Program opened Sept. 1 and will remain open through March 29, 2015. Public voting on videos will begin April 6 via Facebook and run through May 4, and this year's winners will be announced on or about May 6. For more information on the scholarship program or media availability, visit http://midwesttech.edu/microsite/mrwfscholarship/.

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