Clough fellowships help recent high school grads |

Clough fellowships help recent high school grads

Mike McKibbin
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Genevieve Clough of Rifle (center, second row), sits in the Colorado Mountain College West Garfield Campus auditorium that bears her name, surrounded by slightly more than half of this year's Clough Fellows. The scholarships she's funded were recently awarded to graduates of Western Garfield County high schools, through the Western Colorado Community Foundation and Colorado Mountain College. Photo Ed Kosmicki

RIFLE, Colorado – Tiffany Cose will go to college this fall as the first member of her immediate family to seek a degree, something she couldn’t do without financial help from a two-year-old scholarship program.

Cose is among several 2009 graduates of Grand Valley High School in Parachute to receive one of 48 Genevieve Clough Fellowships for this fall. She plans to enroll in Colorado Mountain College’s veterinary technician program at Spring Valley.

“I’ve always wanted to go to college, and my dad always told me he regretted never going,” Cose said. “But I really don’t know if I’d be able to go to CMC without the help” from the Clough scholarship.

The program, named after donor Genevieve Clough of Rifle, is a need-based fellowship for graduates of Rifle, Grand Valley and Coal Ridge high schools.

Less than two years ago Clough created a multi-million-dollar endowment to equally fund two separate scholarship programs. One program is administered through the Western Colorado Community Foundation, the other through the Colorado Mountain College Foundation. Funds are awarded only after students have exhausted all other means of financial support for their education.

Clough’s intention for the fellowship is to provide support for students who have not considered education beyond high school, or who have thought it was beyond their reach.

Carol Efting, who is in charge of scholarships at the CMC Foundation, said approximately 80 applications were received this year. Applicants submitted written applications and essays and were interviewed by a five-member selection committee.

Scholarships range from one to four years, depending on the time each student requires to achieve his or her degree or vocational training. Clough fellows can work toward an associate degree at any one of Colorado Mountain College’s 11 locations, or attend a trade or vocational school or a two-year or four-year college of their choice through the Western Colorado Community Foundation.

This year’s recipients, along with Clough, were honored at a recent reception at CMC’s West Garfield Campus in Rifle.

Almost half of this year’s Clough fellows plan to attend CMC. Others chose Mesa State College in Grand Junction, the University of Colorado-Boulder, Colorado School of Mines and out-of-state institutions, including one recipient who will enroll at Notre Dame.

A 2008 recipient, Lauren Schubert, said the Clough fellowship allowed her to attend Mesa State last year.

“I didn’t have to pay anything,” she said. “It really helped out more than I anticipated.”

Last year, the program’s first, more than $600,000 was awarded to help more than 50 students continue their education beyond high school.

Brandon Simmons is another 2009 Grand Valley graduate to receive a Clough scholarship and plans to pursue an engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines.

“My brother went to Mines for a year, and he tried to work full time at the same time,” he said. “I’m just very appreciative to get this, so I don’t have to do the same thing.”

Magaly Lozano, a Rifle High School graduate, plans to work toward a nursing degree at CMC. The Clough fellowship “will be a great, huge help to me and my family,” Lozano said.

“My family paid for my sister’s college, and it was really hard on them,” she said. “That’s why I wanted to apply.”

Tammy Snyder, a Coal Ridge graduate, also plans to enroll in nursing at CMC.

“I liked that it’s a local scholarship,” she said. “I was never into athletics or extracurricular activities that help you get these. I like how it gives a chance for students like me to get a scholarship.”

Gabriel Gallacher graduated from Rifle and will pursue a political science degree at CU this fall.

“My dad is a single parent, so we had to get some help so I could go to college,” he said. “This will really help fill in the blanks with the costs, and it helps keep my loans down, too.”

Clough has been pleased with the students the two foundations have helped.

“These are just good, ordinary, run-of-the-mill kids,” she said. “Most of them don’t think about further education, but I firmly believe you must have a good education to reach your life goals.”

“Higher education is like farming,” CMC President Dr. Stan Jensen told the new Clough Fellows. “If you plant more seeds, you have a much greater chance of a better harvest. It takes some work, but it will pay off.”

Anne Wenzel, executive director of the Western Colorado Community Foundation, said the Genevieve Clough Fellowships comprise her organization’s largest scholarship fund.

“This is a very big deal,” Wenzel explained. “It shows how committed Mrs. Clough is to higher education. These scholarships give young people the opportunity and freedom to follow their dreams.”

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