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FREDERICK — Ginny Creager knew there was good news in the mail before she even opened it.
“I knew that if it was a big envelope, then I’d got it,” Creager said. “The small envelopes are the rejections, the big envelopes are the award packets”
The large envelope contained news that Creager, a Frederick High School senior, would receive a full-ride scholarship to any four-year college in the state.
Now she has to pick the college.
“I haven’t officially decided on a school,” Creager admitted, “but it’s mostly looking like the University of Denver. They have a really cool program that if you’re a Boettcher scholar, you get your fifth year paid for for free. It’s really like a five-year full ride scholarship to DU.”
Turning a four-year award into five years is an example of Creager’s tendency to think ahead. Even on the subject of her major, Creager answers with one eye on post-grad work.
“I want to get my masters in business administration,” Creager said. “They have a good social justice program at DU, but it’s not a major there, so I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do.”
Since 1952, the Boettcher Foundation has awarded nearly $60 million in undergraduate scholarships to Colorado students. The merit-based awards provide what is essentially a full-ride to any four-year institution in Colorado.
“The goal of the Boettcher Scholarship program is to keep the best talent in Colorado here by connecting them with the outstanding opportunities offered by our in-state institutions,” said Tim Schultz, president and director of the Boettcher Foundation.
“We know that these students will become leaders on their campuses and continue serving others with their gifts, thereby contributing to the greater Colorado community,” Schultz said.
Prospective scholars go through a rigorous application and interview process, according to Scholarship Program Director Tiffany Anderson.
“More than 1,600 students apply each year and only 40 are awarded scholarships,” Anderson said. “Virginia [Creager] really stood out for us with her accomplishments both in and out of the classroom. We’re proud to have her representing the Boettcher family.”
Outside of the classroom, Creager put in 1,400 hours of community service in multiple programs including Teens Ending Relationship Abuse, an organization that seeks to educate young people through social awareness presentations for the prevention of interpersonal violence.
She also helped with the Smart Girls program at Coal Ridge Middle School.
“Every Thursday after school, I run a group of about 10 sixth grade girls,” Creager said describing the Smart Girls program. “And we have a ten-week session of different courses that assist young girls, because that time is a big transition in a young girl’s life.”
Creager is quick to point to the help she received from adults that made her high school career successful.
“I want to thank Pete Vargas, principal at the Frederick High School, Counselor Katherine Zulauf, all the faculty, they’re amazing teachers. They really are like family; my teachers are like friends to me,” Creager said. “I definitely would not be where I am today without their support.”
And Creager credits her family with giving her the discipline to reach her goals.
“My parents helped me get here,” Creager said. “And I’m the baby of five, so I got a lot of support from my older siblings. I’m so fortunate for my family.”
Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.