West River Area Health Education Center

Healthcare Career Scholarship

West River Area Health Education Center (WRAHEC) is excited to invite graduating high school seniors who plan to pursue post-secondary education in a healthcare related field to apply for a WRAHEC Scholarship. Five (5) $500 scholarships will be awarded for 2021 graduating seniors who reside in and intend to pursue further education within the WRAHEC service area. [Download]

The 2021 scholarship application is now closed. Our committee is currently reviewing submitted applications - awardees will be notified in May.

To be eligible for scholarship consideration, a student must:

    1. Be a high school senior graduating in spring 2021.
    2. Reside or attend high school in one of the following South Dakota counties: Bennett, Butte, Custer, Fall River, Haakon, Harding, Jackson, Jones, Lawrence, Meade, Mellette, Oglala Lakota, Pennington, Perkins, Stanley, or Todd.
    3. Are planning to pursue post-secondary education as a full-time, degree or certificate-seeking first-year student in fall 2021 at one of the approved programs in western South Dakota (see below) .
    4. Fully complete the scholarship application packet.
    5. Submit the application packet on or before April 15, 2021.

Selection Criteria:
While academic achievement is considered, the evaluation focuses primarily on non-academic information including engagement in activities (extracurricular, community service, and/or work), commitment to a career in health care, character qualities, identity characteristics, and economic and/or social disadvantage. West River Area Health Education Center selects the scholarship recipients. All applicants agree to accept the decision as final. Scholarships are awarded to the most qualified applicants from a pool of students across all eligible counties. Payment of awarded scholarships will be made in a lump sum directly to the institution designated by the recipient. Checks will be made out and sent to institutions in summer 2021.

Recipients are required to submit all required materials to WRAHEC and to notify WRAHEC of any changes in contact information, college enrollment, or other relevant information. Recipients will be asked to submit a headshot photo and short bio for use in announcements and publications.

Instructions for Scholarship Packet Requirements:
    1. Download then save or print the application.
    2. Complete the personal information section (type or handwrite).
    3. Compile and attach the following documents:
      • Personal essay of no more than 500 words that integrates the following criteria: Describe your chosen healthcare career field, future goals, and how you plan toachieve those goals. Touch on any challenges in life you have faced, how youhave overcome them, and the qualities you have developed that will help yousucceed in the completion of your educational and career goals.
      • One (1) recent letter of recommendation from a teacher, counselor, volunteer leader, work supervisor, or other individual who can describe your abilities and potential to succeed as you pursue a career in the healthcare field.
      • High school transcript (unofficial is sufficient).
    4. Return the application and all supplemental documents by April 15, 2021 through one of the following ways:
      • Mail to West River AHEC, PO Box 250, Rapid City, SD 57709
      • Email to westriversdahec@gmail.com
      • Drop off packet at BHSU-Rapid City, 4300 Cheyenne Blvd, Rapid City, SD 57703 (Administrative Office)
      • If needed, recommendation letters and transcripts can be emailed directly to Cassi.Severson@BHSU.edu

Approved Post-Secondary Programs:

  • Black Hills State University
    • Applied Health Sciences (AS)
    • Pre-Med/Pre-Professional Health (BS)
  • Oglala Lakota College
    • Nursing (AD)
    • Social Work (BSW)
  • Sinte Gleska University
    • Licensed Practical Nursing (AAS)
  • South Dakota Mines
    • Pre-Professional Health Sciences
    • Biology/Pre-Health Pathway (BS)
    • Biomedical Engineering/Pre-Health Pathway (BS)
    • Chemistry/Pre-Health Pathway (BS)
    • Other Pre-Health Pathway (BS)
  • South Dakota State University
    • Rapid City Nursing (BSN)
    • Rapid City Respiratory Care (AS or BS)
  • University of South Dakota
    • Rapid City Nursing (BSN)
  • Western Dakota Technical College
    • Dental Assisting (Diploma)
    • Emergency Medical Technician (Certificate)
    • Health Information Management (Diploma or AAS)
    • Medical Assisting (Diploma)
    • Medical Laboratory Technician (AAS)
    • Paramedic (AAS)
    • Pharmacy Technician (Diploma)
    • Phlebotomy/Laboratory Assistant (Diploma)
    • Practical Nursing (Diploma)
    • Registered Nursing (AAS)
    • Surgical Technology (AAS)

If you have questions about this application, eligibility requirements, or anything else, please contact Cassi Severson at Cassi.Severson@BHSU.edu or 605.718.4327.