116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — Jackson Ringwald is finishing up his courses at Kirkwood Community College with plans to transfer to the University of Northern Iowa in part thanks to a scholarship he received through Tanager Place.
Ringwald, 20, a 2020 graduate of Marion High School, received services from Tanager Place as a teenager to help him cope with various mental health issues.
Tanager Place is a nonprofit in Cedar Rapids that provides services to children and families challenged by social, behavioral and psychological needs. It works with more than 4,000 children a year in Linn and Johnson counties and in southeast Iowa.
As a child, Ringwald was diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. At Tanager Place, he met with a therapist who helped him learn how to not let his diagnoses rule his daily life, he said.
As someone who had received services from Tanager Place, Ringwald was eligible to apply for a new scholarship program called Bridge to the Future.
The scholarship was borne out of an anonymous $1 million gift to Tanager Place in 2019.
Scholarships can be provided to students taking traditional college courses, attending a trade school or attending a community college.
The scholarships also can be used to pay for books, tools and equipment and other course material, a certification or licensure fee and room and board costs.
Ringwald is studying management of information systems.
He currently works at Hy-Vee — a job he’s held for four years — stocking shelves. He hopes to get an internship with the grocer’s information technology department in Des Moines.
The Bridge to the Future scholarship has helped Ringwald pay for one semester of college and lessened the financial burden throughout his two years at Kirkwood.
“Tanager Place and college are great things for your future,” Ringwald said. “If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, go for it. It will help you five to 10 years down the road.”
Scholarships awards are based on financial need, tuition costs and the scholarship committee’s conclusions as to the applicant’s ability or potential to articulate and accomplish their academic plans and goals.
Scholarship recipients are eligible to reapply for additional funding as they pursue their educational goals.
“It is an incredible privilege to be able to help kids who have benefited from Tanager Place services pursue their future education goals,” said Tanager Place CEO Okpara Rice. “To see a young person excited for that next phase of education is a true joy. Reviewing the applications and reading the optimism for the future is truly a highlight of my year.”
How to apply
To be eligible for a Bridge to the Future Scholarship, a student must:
- Have been a Tanager Place client for a minimum of six months within the last two calendar years.
- Meet criteria of Free Application for Federal Student Aid and provide the score on application.
- Demonstrate financial need.
The application deadline is 4 p.m. April 11.
The application includes answering questions about involvement in extracurricular activities, non-school activities, accomplishments, work experience, career interest, goals and how Tanager Place has made a difference in the applicants life.
Tanager Place is taking donations to contribute to the scholarship fund. Donations can be made online at tanagerplace.org/donate or by mailing a check to Tanager Place, 2309 C St. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404, Attention Advancement Services.
Scholarship applications are available online at tanagerplace.org/outreach/scholarships.
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