Custer County Foundation’s 2021 Scholarship Ceremony

The Custer County Foundation held their annual Scholarship Award Ceremony on Sunday, March 28, at the One Box Convention Center in Broken Bow, NE. 

Alicia Hermsmeyer, Board Member and President of the Custer County Foundation, conducted the welcome to the estimated 350 people in attendance.  Alicia also introduced our guest speaker, Levi French, who grew up in Broken Bow and graduated from Broken Bow High School.  Levi attended Texas A & M University where he competed his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering.  Levi currently lives in Broken Bow, Nebraska and works as a mechanical engineer at Sargent Pipe.

Levi shared his story with the guests in attendance.  He mentioned how difficult classes were and he had a real eye-opening experience after he received his first exam grade. He started asking for help, made a conscience effort to stay focused, kept a good friend group, worked hard, and set up a way to manage his time effectively, and classes started to become easier and he began enjoying them.  Levi mentioned the importance of being a well-rounded student, that many job seekers are looking more for that well-rounded student that can lead and communicate.  In closing, Levi gave some great advice stating, “go ahead live your life, make those mistakes and take those leaps, but wherever you end up don’t forget your roots.”

This scholarship ceremony continues to be successful because of our special guests, the donors who travel from places like Kansas City and Lincoln, as well as many from Custer County.  Not only are they in attendance to present their scholarships, but to share great stories about their families and offer words of advice and encouragement.  Their presence also gives them an opportunity to meet the students whose lives they are directly impacting.  Another unique aspect of the ceremony is the element of surprise for the students receiving the scholarships.  Until their name is called, they are neither aware of the scholarship they are receiving nor the amount.  This anticipation makes the event even more enjoyable.

Executive Director Lindsay Cook announced eighty-eight scholarships would be presented to seventy-nine students for a total amount of $113,850 awarded!  Scholarships offered through the Foundation are for various fields of study including, nursing, veterinary medicine, journalism, lineman, and cosmetology to name a few.  Scholarships are available for four-year and two-year degrees.  She went on to explain the selection process and thanked the scholarship committee for their hard work and dedication in selecting the recipients.  Nearly 1,200 applications were received and selecting the recipients was not an easy task.  After all the awards were presented, the guidance counselors were thanked for all the assistance they offer the students with the application process.  The ceremony closed by inviting attendees to enjoy refreshments and cookies, while thanking those in attendance and wishing the graduates best of luck as they begin new chapters in their lives.

The Custer County Foundation is celebrating 30 years of service! Since their inception, the Foundation has awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships to Custer County students.  Bev Williams presented the Female Academic Athletic scholarship on behalf of Jan Pederson, Bev said, “picture yourself 69 years from now, would you say to yourself will I care enough that I will help someone to further their education as someone did for me in 2021?” If you would like to learn more about establishing a scholarship through the Custer County Foundation please contact the office at 308-872-2232 or