-This article was originally published in the October 2009 Edition of the Rodeo Connection. I thought that some of these deadlines were fast approaching and could help some people out for this fall’s upcoming college semester. I hope you enjoy it!
Three years ago I would have never even dreamed of doing something like this. A lot of things have changed since then however. Graduating high school instigates a great deal of change. The biggest change can be one of probably two things; staying in school or pursuing higher education. Today college is very important, and for us rodeo competitors, college is a very possible choice after high school. For me it was an easy choice. I’m still banking on making my living in the arena. A problem soon arose when I discussed this with my parents.
“You know Teddy, you won’t be able to rodeo all your life right?” My Mom stated.
“Dang, that’s what I was hoping to do” I Replied.
Well in the past two years I got hurt a few times and I still don’t want to get a real job so I’m a college kid now. And you know what? School really isn’t that bad. What many students and parents may not realize is just how easy is it to get scholarships to go to college. The best part is just how many there are out there and how many different entities award them. Scholarships can come directly from high schools and colleges, government foundations, private donors, rodeo associations and businesses. Another place they come from that I found out about just this year is rodeo committees. Not as much in Canada so far, but I am looking. The Alberta High School Rodeo Association has to be one of the best associations in North America for high school students to learn, rodeo and set themselves up for a successful future in college and in the rodeo arena.
Since I would like this article to be of use to its readers I would like to talk about all the scholarships I know of that are out there for graduating high school students. The money is out there for the most part it is whether or not a person takes the time to apply. The biggest cost in applying for scholarships is the stamp for the envelope. Sure you might now win some scholarships but you can’t get any of their free money if you don’t try. Here are a few all of you high school students should apply for:
Montana Silversmiths Pursuit of Excellence Scholarship: Deadline: August 1st. This scholarship is open to graduated high school students and current college students with a minimum a GPA of 2.0 or higher. For those of us north of the 49th you have got to have about a 70% average. For more information, and to apply go to: montanasilversmiths.com. Or call 888-677-9487 for an application form.
The Bill Kehler Memorial Scholarship: Deadline: August 28th. Open to students who have completed grade 12 or are currently in college. Up to four scholarships of $2500 are awarded each year. The scholarships are given to students studying in agriculture and broadcasting, along with those who are great ambassadors to the legacy of Mr. Bill Kehler. Professional rodeo contestants can also apply for a scholarship to support their post secondary studies. For more information, or to apply go to: canadianfinalsrodeo.com/community.
The Alexander Rutherford High School Achievement Scholarship: Deadline: May 1st if you will be going to school in September and December 1st if you start college in January. If your Grade 10, 11 and 12 averages are above 75% in the four core subjects along with one option class this scholarship can be worth a lot of money to you. If your average was above 80% it can be even more. And the best part is that if you apply and your grades are right then you get the money. Your high school counselor should have the information for this scholarship but if not, here is the website: alis.gov.ab.ca/et/fo/scholarships/info.html?EK=11. (Sorry for such the long address, I hope that everyone applies for this one though.)
The Alberta High School Rodeo Association Scholarships: Deadline April 1st. Now you must be a member of the AHSRA to apply for these scholarships. So those of you who want to go to college and aren’t members yet, should join. This association is the absolute best place to start your rodeo career. No were else will you find better help, stock and a positive atmosphere to be the best you can be. You can start now in Jr. High School Rodeo in the sixth grade and almost have your whole first year of college paid for before you even get there. For more information go to: albertahsrodeo.com
The last type of scholarship I want to talk about in this article are the ones awarded by colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Some of the Schools in Canada that are part of the Canadian Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (CIRA) are: Olds College, Lakeland College in Vermillion, AB, Red Deer College, NAIT, SAIT, The University of Lethbridge, U of A and U of C. The CIRA is growing and is a great place to further your education and rodeo at the same time. College rodeo in the United States is done in the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA). The member schools are spread out all over the Western United States it is divided into eleven regions geographically. There are many scholarships given out to students from all over North America by NIRA member schools. If you are a student who wants to go to college here in the United States go to: collegerodeo.com. There you can find all the contact information for every school’s coach. You don’t have to be the best in Canada to get a scholarship to go to school somewhere down here. All it takes is the desire.
Good luck and remember:
“As long as there is a sunset there will be a West” Dr Lynn Phillips