AMES, Iowa – A $2,000 scholarship has been awarded to four Washington County students. Kelsey Gent, Jessica Kinneer, Eric Parrott and Jeremy Vittetoe each received a Hills Bank 4-H Scholarship sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company.
The Hills Bank 4-H Scholarship is awarded to as many as 20 students each year. The recipients, who apply during their junior year in high school, attend nine hours of leadership training sponsored by Hills Bank and Trust Company during their senior year. Afterward, they receive $500 per semester for two years. The scholarship may be used at any of Iowa's accredited universities, colleges or community colleges.
Kelsey Gent, Washington, is the daughter of Kevin and Linda Gent. During high school, she was involved in dance, volleyball, Win with Wellness and National Honor Society. She was recognized for her placement on the 4.0 honor Roll, Super Student award, Work Habit Honor Roll and Hills Bank Youth Salute. She served as class treasurer, 4-H president, county council historian and was credited with her leadership in starting the high school dance team.
“The Hills Bank Leadership training program has helped me with my communication. It has taught me about making good decisions and talking with difficult people,” Gent said. “I feel fortunate to have met the other recipients, as they all have different personalities and backgrounds. I learned how much people help the community, which makes me want to be a better leader.”
A recent graduate of Mid-Prairie High School, Gent plans to attend Iowa State University, majoring in food science.
Jessica Kinneer, Washington, is the daughter of Bill and Julie Kinneer. She has been involved with leadership projects such as the Wesley House meal, senior class secretary, elementary mentor and vice president of FCCLA records. In addition to her leadership, she has been awarded the Hills Bank Youth Salute Award, Rotary Youth Leadership Award and has been a member of the National Honor Society. She participated in the student council, FCCLA, Silver Cord, soccer, band, youth group and Habitat for Humanity.
“The program helped me see how my interactions affect others. In one of our sessions, all the participants were asked to analyze how they speak to others and what types of tone they use,” Kinneer said. “This helped me see how the smallest comment can change a person’s view. I also learned more about my strengths and weaknesses, which reinforced my decision to enter into the business field. Overall, I gained from my experience by networking with other young leaders.”
Kinneer is a recent graduate of Mid-Prairie High School. She plans to attend the University of Iowa, majoring in finance/ accounting.
Eric Parrott, Wellman, is the son of Evan and Kim Parrott. He has directed and organized the Wellman Fun Run, and has been captain of the cross country and soccer teams. Parrott received the Rotary Youth Leadership Award, Hills Bank Leadership Award and the Gazette Student of the Month award. He is an Iowa Scholar, VEISHEA scholar and AP Scholar with honor.
“The Hills Bank leadership training program has helped me by identifying strengths and skills I need to develop,” Parrott said. “Many of the speakers we heard had great ideas and the skills to teach us. The program provided me with some of the skills to maximize the ability I already have.”
A recent graduate of Mid-Prairie High School, Parrott plans to attend Iowa State University, majoring in agricultural biochemistry.
Jeremy Vittetoe, Washington, is the son of Jerry and Deb Vittetoe. He has taken advantage of leadership opportunities by serving as senior class treasurer, 4-H club president, vice-president, treasurer, 4-H county council treasurer and Washington County Pork Ambassador. He has participated in National Honor Society, Peer Helpers, track, football, class officer activities, FFA and 4-H. He was recognized as an All-American Scholar and recipient of the I Dare You Award, 4-H Citizenship Award, and the Chapter Star Farmer Award.
“The Hills Bank Leadership training program was very helpful in improving my leadership and communication skills. I learned more about my strengths and how to use them effectively,” Vittetoe said. “I also learned more about what people expect from their leaders. The skills I learned will be very helpful going into college and beyond."
Vittetoe is a graduate of Washington High School. He plans on attending Iowa State University, majoring in agricultural engineering with a minor in agronomy.
In Iowa, the 4-H program is a part of Iowa State University Extension and headquartered on the ISU campus in Ames. For more information about 4-H, how to get involved or how to apply for a 4-H scholarship, contact the local county office of ISU Extension.
Laura Sternweis, Extension Communications and External Relations, (515) 294-0775, firstname.lastname@example.org