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Swing for the Green Fundraising event Raises Over $21,000 to Support Student Scholarships for ISU START Program

January 22, 2024

A group of people hold a check

In the summer of 2023, the Bank of Idaho partnered with Idaho State University, College of Technology and the Successful Transitions and Retention Track (START) program to help raise scholarship funds for at-risk students who previously thought that higher education was beyond their reach. On Friday, January 5, a check was presented to the ISU START program for more than $21,000 to help continue making the dreams of higher education a reality for many students throughout Southeast Idaho

The START program is a one-semester college preparation program offered to community members of southeast Idaho at no cost to the student. This one-semester program provides social support, academic coursework and other critical groundwork for students in helping to manage and address barriers in their lives as they begin the journey of higher education. Students who attend the START program may have started college at some point earlier in their lives,but stopped out or never completed due to life challenges and barriers. Other students attending START may have never attended college before but feel intimidated by the process and are seeking needed support and mentorship as they navigate the landscape of higher education. Upon successful completion of the program, START students not only receive supplies, tools and a variety of resources that help them as they begin their educational journey, but they also receive a financial scholarship that they can apply toward any program of their choice at ISU. According to Cherisse Brown, the director of the START program, “The social and academic support that students receive in the START program, combined with the financial scholarship when they complete our program, creates a life-changing opportunity for many people in our community who never thought higher education was possible for them. It gives them the knowledge, personal confidence and financial boost to reach their dreams of higher education, completely changing the trajectory of their lives.”

To help address the long-term sustainability of providing financial scholarships for every START student, the Bank of Idaho brought the Swing for the Green fundraising event to Pocatello. The event includes an annual golf tournament and dinner/auction that helps raise funds for scholarships for START students and awareness of the impact that START has on our local communities. In August 2023, the golf tournament and dinner/auction were held at Riverside Golf Course and the campus of Idaho State University — successfully engaging community members and sponsors such as Teton Honda of Pocatello who served as one of the core sponsors of the event.

To celebrate the success of Swing for the Green, Bank of Idaho representative Keith Zundel, who serves as the Bank of Idaho VP, Commercial Area Manager and Senior Lender, presented a check for $21,130 to the Dean of the College of Technology, Jerry Anhorn, to be used for scholarships for the START program. Dean Anhorn noted, “This partnership between Bank of Idaho and Idaho State University College of Technology allows those who are most in need to have confidence in themselves and to have a hand-up, financially, in making college accessible and within reach.” Plans are currently underway for planning the upcoming 2024 Swing for the Green event in Pocatello. If you or your business would like to participate in this year’s event please contact Cherisse Brown at (208) 282-4359 or cherissebrown@isu.edu.


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