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Build Dakota scholarship benefits traditional and non-traditional students

Build Dakota is a full-ride scholarship for South Dakota’s technical schools in high demand programs, like energy technicians, medical laboratory technicians, and automotive mechanics.
Published: Jan. 24, 2021 at 4:41 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Started in 2015, the Build Dakota scholarship has awarded millions of dollars to students across the state hoping to further their education.

Going to college can cost thousands of dollars and even rack up some debt, but two Western Dakota Technical College students don’t have to worry about that.

“I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go to college, four years or two years, it wouldn’t have mattered, I just didn’t have the funds at the moment, but when I applied for the Build Dakota scholarship and got it, I was able to go to college,” said Alexandria Anderson, a medical laboratory technician student.

“This type of scholarship really helps nontraditional students because they may have a family,” said Michele Fisher, an environmental engineering student. “I’m a single parent of two young children, I never really thought that I would be able to afford to go to college, but I knew that it didn’t matter. I still had to do it.”

Build Dakota is a full-ride scholarship for South Dakota’s technical schools in high demand programs, like energy technicians, medical laboratory technicians, and automotive mechanics.

“It gives me a good start to have a high demand trade skill that I can take with me anywhere basically, and I know I can apply anywhere, and I know many businesses are looking for these high demand jobs, and it’s a good start, even if you’ve been out of school for however many years and you’re like ‘I want to take a new path,’” said Anderson.

Both women are in their first year of college, and Michele said it’s been worth it.

“Anybody would be silly not to apply for it. You just have to have the passion in what you want to do. It’s here, we’re here to help and it’s amazing. It’s doing wondrous things,” said Fisher. “This is really a great opportunity and it helps our community right here in Rapid City and even our state.”

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