The La Crosse Tribune on Thursday announced the creation of a scholarship for sales and marketing students at Western Technical College — a move that will help keep students on track to graduate, and that will likely lead to internship and job opportunities at the Tribune.
“It’s an amazing opportunity to be able to give back to local students who are starting or furthering their careers at a wonderful institution that’s right in our backyard,” said Josh Trust, president and publisher of River Valley Media Group, which includes the Tribune.
“For this region, one of the biggest issues we all face is workforce development,” Trust said. “It’s no different for us. Hopefully, by getting us exposed to the great work being done by students, it will lead to internships and full-time employment opportunities that will keep students in the La Crosse area once they graduate.”
The Tribune’s gift includes five $1,000 scholarships that will be divvied among students in Western’s marketing management, digital marketing and sales management programs.
Trust said he hopes to renew that commitment annually, which is welcome news to leaders of the technical college.
“Anytime we can get a scholarship that provides a better pathway for our students to start or finish their education … that’s great,” said Western President Roger Stanford. “We like all scholarships — $100 ones, $200 ones. But a $1,000 scholarship changes the entire game. This is really a major impact.”
Mike Swenson, executive director of Western’s Foundation, said scholarships like this one can be the difference between a student graduating or, potentially, being forced to drop out.
Not only will this scholarship give students a much-needed financial boost, he said, it will also set them up for a fulfilling, well-paying career.
“A lot of students we serve are working a lot of hours outside of their education, maybe a couple part-time jobs just to survive school,” Swenson said. “Now, we’re talking about taking one of those students and moving them into a professional position at the La Crosse Tribune. It’s a life-changing experience for the student, and it could all be because they applied for the La Crosse Tribune scholarship.”