By Tim Rohwer
From The Daily Nonpareil
Education is important to Rep. Mark Brandenburg, so much so that he has just started a scholarship for worthy students to continue their schooling.
“This is an opportunity to help someone and to promote education, which is important.”
On Thursday morning, the Iowa House lawmaker completed the paperwork, along with a $500 check for establishing the Mark Brandenburg Scholarship Fund at Iowa Western Community College where he is a graduate.
“I’m going to start off at $500,” he said. “I hope in the future to increase this amount.”
This scholarship will go to a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School, which Brandenburg attended. The eligible recipients are to have at least a 2.8 grade-point average upon graduation, with plans to continue schooling at IWCC.
“Iowa Western is an awesome school,” Brandenburg said. “We’re blessed to have such a fine institution in our community.”
His scholarship fund will be administered by the Iowa Western Community College Foundation, which distributed $2.4 million in scholarships this past school year, said Renee Coughlin, the school’s vice president for institutional advancement.
The initial $500 check won’t pay for everything in a semester’s tuition, but Brandenburg plans to hold future fundraisers and other events so that someday there will be enough money to pay full rides for at least two students for two years.
“That’s my goal,” he said.
Brandenburg credits his late father as an inspiration for this. The oldest son from a large family, the elder Brandenburg had to begin working at a young age to help support the family and never had the chance to finish high school.
“That inspired me to do something for others,” Brandenburg said.