Dodge City, KS – Communities In Schools (CIS) of Mid-America, an affiliate of the national organization that empowers all students to stay in school and on a path to graduation, announced the recipient of its annual scholarship opportunity. Jimena Cartagena, of Dodge City High School in Dodge City, KS, has been chosen as this year’s Tyler Gerhardt Memorial Scholarship recipient.
“We are excited to present the Tyler Gerhardt Memorial Scholarship to Jimena Cartagena. Her story is one of perseverance and hope for the future. Her dedication to her family and fellow students will inspire all to give back to their community,” said Anna Douglas-Rose, Associate Vice President of Field Operations for CIS of Mid-America.
In her application materials, Cartagena stated, “I will be the first in my family to attend college. We are a family of Mexican immigrants who came to the United States seeking a better life.” Growing up, Cartagena learned perseverance, resilience, and hope from watching her father, who worked incredibly hard to provide for his family both in the United States, and in Mexico. “I admire my father greatly. His story has impacted the way I see the world and I strive to honor his efforts in keeping his American dream of a better life alive by continuing my education and receiving a college degree.”
“It is very exciting for Jimena and me for her to receive the Tyler Gerhardt Memorial Scholarship. Jimena has had to take on adult duties at a young age being a first generation immigrant. Her and her family have faced and overcome many issues that have molded her into the wonderful person she is today,” said Lizette Garcia, CIS of Mid-America Site Coordinator at Dodge City High School.
Garcia continues, “Jimena, congratulations on receiving this scholarship! Always remember the sky is the limit and I am confident in you. We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance to it. I look forward to seeing your success and always keep your beautiful smile.”
The Tyler Gerhardt Memorial Scholarship honors the life of Tyler Gerhardt to continue his legacy of hard work, ambition, and determination. Tyler is the son of Donnie Gerhardt, a respected staff member of CIS of Mid-America, who retired in 2018 after five years of service to the organization. Students receiving this award must demonstrate characteristics of Tyler Gerhardt and have participated in CIS of Mid-America case-management services. The $500 scholarship can be used towards tuition, school fees, housing, books, or materials/supplies. Cartagena plans to further her education after graduation and become a Radiation Therapist.
About Communities In Schools of Mid-America
CIS of Mid-America celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020. It was established as CIS of Kansas in 1995 and, in 2014, became the first CIS state office to establish regional affiliates embedded in our 501(c)3. What began as a statewide network in 1995 serving communities across the state of Kansas now also serves communities in Iowa, Oklahoma, and Missouri. As an affiliate of the national non-profit Communities In Schools, this regional approach allows us to streamline the services we provide to struggling students and their families. The CIS of Mid-America network currently provides services in 57 schools to more than 30,000 students each year by placing individuals directly inside the schools to work with students.