WATERLOO, IA – January 17, 2023 – Leader Valley is excited to announce a new Leadership & Legacy Scholarship for Minority Students that will benefit high school students throughout the Cedar Valley with plans to attend college. Established by CBE Companies (CBE) Owner and Chairman Tom Penaluna and his wife Ginger, this scholarship will fund and award annual scholarships and provide leadership training to minority youth in Black Hawk County, with an emphasis on those who have attended ‘Leader in Me’ schools.
“Leader Valley’s ‘Leader in Me’ initiative prepares students with employability and leadership skills regardless of their race, religion, or socio-economic backgrounds,” explains Penaluna. “Ginger and I hope this scholarship fund will help create a better environment for those disadvantaged minority students after they graduate, to come back to the Cedar Valley and help our community become more inclusive which will open doors to new thinking and enriching lives.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Leader Valley’s 10-year celebration on January 10, 2023, where CBE’s founder Tom Penaluna received the Leader Valley Legacy Award for his influential role in the establishment and growth of Leader Valley over the last decade. Now, Penaluna is continuing his legacy of investing in young leaders through the establishment of the Leader Valley Leadership & Legacy Scholarship, which furthers his ongoing commitment to providing diverse and inclusive opportunities to traditionally under-served groups with a focus on Cedar Valley’s African American community.
“In 2020, our community faced the devastating blow of being named the worst place in the country for African Americans to live,” states Madelyn Ridgeway, CBE’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. “Leaders in our community, like Tom, galvanized to do their part in changing that narrative. Specialized opportunities such as the Leadership & Legacy Scholarship seek to level the playing field, and give our emerging leaders needed support and encouragement as they begin their college and professional careers.”
The $10,000 four-year scholarship will provide up to $2,500 per year for a student’s freshman through senior years of college. The scholarship will also provide students with access to summer leadership seminars to equip students to become successful leaders upon graduation.
The Leader Valley Legacy & Leadership Scholarship will begin accepting applications in the spring of 2023. Students entering their freshman year of college in the fall of 2023 are eligible to apply. For more information, visit www.bit.ly/LeadershipandLegacyScholars.