On November 11, 2020, the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation awarded the first Baker Family Scholarship to Pleasant Valley student, Veda Gisi.
“We recognize what you’ve done for the community through your various drives your hard work you’ve put in and the hard work does pay off,” Jens Baker said. “We want to give you this scholarship to recognize you for your hard work.”
Miss Gisi is currently a 7th grade student at Pleasant Valley Junior High. She is active with the non-profit Hiney Heros, which collects packages, and delivers diapers for needy families. She also collects pet supplies for the animal shelter and was integral in starting a Buddy Bench at Cody Elementary. Buddy benches are places for students to sit when they don’t have someone to play with so students can ask them to join their play groups.
“You work hard and keep showing us your good work.” Mr. Baker said. “You’ve earned it. We’re very proud of you. Thank you to the foundation and the school for making this an easy decision and you’ve set the bar for kids going forward as well,”
The Baker Family Scholarship is the largest scholarship awarded by the PVEF. A scholarship committee of teachers and staff from Cody Elementary school will chose a winner of the scholarship annually from the 6th grade class. The recipient will receive a $1,000 scholarship upon graduation from Pleasant Valley High School. What makes this scholarship unique is the potential for the student to earn additional scholarship funds for every year he or she earns a 3.1 GPA at PVHS for a possible total of $5,000 upon graduation.
“We believe that all of our students need to go onto some form of post-secondary education – it doesn’t have to be a four year college – but some form of post-secondary education for them to prosper in the 21st century economy,” PVEF Board Member Dr. Jim Spelhaug said. “Our community and our school district thanks the Baker Family for making this a reality. I always believe education can bend the arc of people’s lives and I think here and in the future that’s exactly what your family is doing. We’re so privileged.”
The Baker Family hopes this scholarship will inspire others to give to their community and inspire students to work hard and reap the benefits of that work beyond what a scholarship can do.
“We wanted to provide that incentive for Cody students,” Mr. Baker said. “We wanted to do more than the typical re-active scholarships which solely rewards graduates for past accomplishments, we wanted to more pro-active and not only reward students for what they have done, but also to continue to reward them for continuing to do well - so that these students know, if they put in the hard work, make good choices, get good grades, that it will pay off.”
In 1992, community members joined together to support Pleasant Valley students by founding the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation. At the time, the Foundation supported two scholarships for graduating PVHS seniors. Now, more than 25 years later, the PVEF supports more than 110 scholarships and hosts two community events, a golf tournament and the 5k/5 mile roadrace Run with Carl, every year. The Foundation believes that every student should complete some sort of post-secondary education and to reach that goal has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships over the last three decades. For more information on the Foundation, please visit https://www.pleasval.org/district/pv-foundation/index. All other inquires can be directed to Beth Marsoun at 563-332-5550.