Wil Hanson Inspire Kindness Scholarship

The Wil Hanson Inspire Kindness Scholarship was established in 2018 by a small group of people who saw a rare generosity that deserved to be honored.

Wil Hanson is a life-long resident of the Quad Cities. He grew up in Buffalo, Iowa pitching in on his Grandfather’s farm. Upon graduation from high school he went to work at ALCOA and was soon drafted into The United States Army.  After serving in the Army he returned to ALCOA and began his studies at St. Ambrose University. He graduated from St. Ambrose with a Bachelor’s degree and spent the next 33 years working as an Industrial Manager at ALCOA.  He retired from ALCOA in 2000 and 6 months later he was ready to get back in the driver’s seat…literally.  As a second career he decided to start driving a school bus for the Pleasant Valley School District.

It was this second career that has help to define him as one of the most caring, generous and big-hearted individuals to ever drive a school bus.  Wil’s bus route is set in rural Bettendorf and LeClaire serving the Pleasant Valley Junior High and Cody Elementary.  Wil has driven a school bus for 17 years and has become an integral part of Cody Elementary.  He joins the PTA every year where he attends meetings, volunteers his time and generously supplies hundreds of Hot Wheels cars for school events. Wil always makes sure he drives the bus for the annual kindergarten field trip to the zoo. While at the zoo he takes a student or group of students who need a little extra attention and makes their day extra special.  Wil is well known for connecting with students who need a little extra attention and makes sure they feel noticed and respected.  The lucky students who ride Wil’s bus will tell you that he is the best bus driver in the world. Just watching him walk down the hallway at Cody Elementary and seeing every student trying to high five him is a testament to how much he means to them and the school.

Wil is well known throughout the district because he is an avid PV supporter. Wil’s bus has carried the athletes, the thespians, the band, the orchestra and Wil’s spirit is always there to provide support and encouragement all along the way.

Wil’s generosity and beautiful human spirit has touched the lives of many PV students. He makes time to be kind and to provide support to all those he knows. This scholarship has been established to celebrate Wil Hanson and the kindness he has shared throughout his life.

Purpose:  To help a student with financial need and who demonstrates exceptional kindness towards others.

Criteria to Apply:

  • Be a graduating senior of PVHS
  • Plan to attend college or vocational school
  • Demonstrates values of character and kindness
  • Provide 2 letters of recommendation highlighting examples of kindness

Scholarship Personal Statement/Essay:

  • Explain why you decided to apply for this scholarship, and why you believe you deserve to be selected. Be sure to add any factors not mentioned on this application that you would like considered, including your post-secondary action plan.