Two Minatare seniors score nationwide Hagan Scholarship, credit counselor, mentor for success | Gallery

Minatare seniors Alicia Gutierrez and Corina Meyers both received Hagan Scholarships, which offer up to $48,000 in tuition over the course of four years of college along with a variety of other benefits to enhance their college careers.


Minatare seniors Alicia Gutierrez and Corina Meyers both plan to attend college in the fall, but they didn’t expect to receive a scholarship worth up to $48,000 to support them throughout their college careers .

Gutierrez and Meyers, both planning to attend Chadron State College, received the Hagan Scholarship, which according to a press release is “a statewide need-based merit scholarship designed to help high-performing students graduate from college debt-free.”

The Hagan Foundation awards fewer than 500 grants a year nationwide, and the application process is long and arduous. Neither senior really wanted to go through the process, especially with the slim chance of actually getting the scholarship. However, careers counselor Becky Mayhew and volunteer mentor Pat Randolph urged her to complete the application.

“They (Mayhew and Randolph) pushed us,” Gutierrez said. “I thought, ‘There’s no way I can do this. I will not do it.’ And they’re like, ‘No, just do it, just in case. You never know.'”

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Mayhew said, “Every year we get information from the Hagan Foundation and so every year we try to get students to apply for it.”

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Minatare seniors Alicia Gutierrez and Corina Meyers received a Hagan Scholarship, a nationwide need-based merit scholarship that awards nearly 500 scholarships each year. Both said they couldn’t have done it without the help of careers adviser Becky Mayhew (top) and volunteer mentor Pat Randolph (second from top).


Mayhew and Randolph thought Gutierrez and Meyers would fill the bill and urged them to fill out the application.

“I just know how important education is, and I knew these two deserved it,” Randolph said. “You’ve worked so hard. They improved their grades. You have set an example for younger students. They were in every activity they could. They’re just great girls. They just got excellent scores, so Becky and I said they’re going to apply for Hagan. And then we say, ‘You’re applying for Hagan.’”

The application process consisted of two rounds in which the students were asked to provide detailed information on their studies, extracurricular studies, family finances and career aspirations. One of the most difficult parts of completing the application for both Gutierrez and Meyers was speaking up in the essay. Since both are “involved in almost everything that goes on at the school,” they didn’t want to be boastful.

Thankfully, Randolph is great at helping students feel safe sharing their achievements and achievements.

“She (Randolph) can help bring that out in them, because to write their grants, they don’t want to share things like that,” Mayhew said. “It’s easy to leave things out because you feel like you can’t brag about yourself and that’s what I really love about Pat, she can really help you see what you might be missing about yourself. She’s like a soul archaeologist.”

Randolph helped them explain their involvement in sports and student council, Gutierrez’s involvement in one-act plays, Quiz Bowl and music, and Meyers’ involvement in FFA and as the “rock star drummer” for the band.

For Randolph, it’s all about showing the students that they have to believe in themselves like she believes in them.

“I knew they deserved it; They deserve it so much,” she said. “And like I’ve always told them and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said that — they say, ‘There’s no way we can get that,’ and I always say, ‘The only scholarship you’ve got there’s no way you can get, is the one you’re not applying for.’”

With nudges from Randolph and Mayhew, Gutierrez and Meyers completed their applications and made it through the first round and then the second round to earn one of the biggest scholarships anyone could ask for.

The Hagan Scholarship offers up to $6,000 per semester for up to eight consecutive semesters—provided students meet the scholarship criteria—based on total costs for things like tuition, fees, housing, meals, and transportation.

According to a press release, “The scholarship also provides recipients with a practical understanding of important life skills not typically covered in the school curriculum through free workshops, Schwab brokerage accounts, and study abroad opportunities.”

The two seniors said they could not have done the work to earn such a grant without the help of Mayhew and Randolph. Their dedication to Gutierrez and Meyers, as well as all of their older classmates with scholarship applications and college readiness, is something they’re grateful for in such a small school district.

“I’m really grateful to them because I know if they hadn’t pushed me I probably wouldn’t have applied for as many scholarships and my essays probably wouldn’t be as good as they are because they helped me write,” said Gutierrez.

Meyers said that their help “motivates us to get them[applications]done. Most of us have problems with procrastination, and that really helps.”

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