Shasi Pierotti says she wouldn’t have continued in school after graduating from Waupaca High School in 2017 if not for the Promise scholarship that’s paying for her tuition and books to study nursing at Fox Valley Technical College. Instead, she is the first person in her family to attend college and plans to become a registered nurse in a neonatal unit.
“It swung the door open,” Shasi said.
Another 140 students have walked through that door, taking FVTC up on its promise. If the local students stay in school, keep their grades up and do some community service, two years of their education is paid for.
Starting in January, another group is going to be able to take part. Adult Promise scholarships will offer current and past GED candidates the same deal in hopes of developing in them the skills needed to secure a better paying job. A designated “adult promise coach” will help them navigate the way.
For Shasi, the career choice was basic. “I’ve always wanted to help people,” she said. She gained the pride and self confidence that comes with achieving your goals. “I got myself here, with the help of my (high school) counselor,” Shasi said.
Mary Downs, executive director foundation and community relations at FVTC, said it is too soon to tell how close to on target the cost estimate of $1 million to cover the cost of Promise for six years will be, but the program has attracted support. The college’s foundation has raised $750,000 of the $1 million needed, but they are welcoming more contributions.
The Community Foundation and seven family or corporate Foundation funds have granted or allocated a total of $91,500 in grants to the scholarship program.
For Shasi, there’s also a family bonus. She set an example that interested her older sister in going back to school to earn a college degree.