Marshallese community provides scholarships to NWTI

Eldon Alik, Consulate General for the Marshall Islands in Springdale, provided Northwest Technical Institute President Dr. Jim Rollins with scholarship donations on Tuesday, Nov. 30, under the newly formed Marshall Islands and NWTI Scholarship fund.

Alik thanked Dr. Rollins for his involvement. Anita Ebon provided the first two scholarships with a donation of $2,000.

Alik said that he is working on two additional scholarships, as well as another possible scholarship to be donated in the near future. He said he is organizing a Marshallese concert to take place during the 2022 Spring Break that will serve as a fundraiser for this scholarship fund. Dr. Rollins offered the NWTI campus for an outdoor event.

Dr. Rollins explained that the FAFSA Pell Grant monies are awarded to NWTI students applying for a diploma program, and that the certification programs do not qualify for Pell Grant monies. As a result, students taking certification programs do not receive that Federal financial aid.

Alik said that he plans to establish a committee for the purpose of further developing the criteria for the Marshall Islands and NWTI Scholarship fund, as well as for networking within the Marshallese community. That committee would consist of three to five individuals. He has as a goal to initially select 10 scholarship recipients for the scholarship fund. The scholarship committee would screen scholarship candidates and then determine the 10 most preferred candidates for NWTI to make the final selection. Alik said the committee would also help mentor and counsel the recipients throughout their educational experience at NWTI. In addition, he recommended that families of Marshallese students attend monthly NWTI Patron Shelf meetings to further assist with the retention and success of the recipients. All attendees at the Nov. 31 meeting at NWTI agreed this would be helpful.

From left: NWTI Language/Minority Outreach Coordinator, Shay Lastra, NWTI Vice President/Human Resources, Don Raines, Consulate General of the Marshall Islands in Springdale, Eldon Alik, NWTI President, Dr. Jim Rollins, NWTI Vice President/Director of Student Services, Melissa Greenslade.

Alik also said he would be visiting local Marshallese churches to ask them to contribute towards the scholarship fund. He said that he hopes this will encourage the Marshallese community to take ownership to initially provide the scholarship donations.

NWTI Vice President/Director of Student Services Melissa Greenslade explained options to Alik regarding how the scholarship monies could be awarded in conjunction with the FAFSA Pell Grant monies. Greenslade explained that different organizations manage setting up the scholarship account and selecting the recipients in a variety of ways with varying levels of involvement.

Alik provided a check for $2,000 to be placed in the Northwest Technical Institute Foundation.

Alik and Dr. Rollins shared thanks for their service and commitment to the Marshallese community.