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A number of scholarships were awarded to area graduating seniors on behalf of the Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce. Scholarships come from the Business & Education Committee, Agriculture Committee, Youth Leadership Kearney, and Bruce Blankenship Leadership in Business, and Mark Benjamin Building Opportunity.


The Business and Education Committee awards two scholarships each year to area seniors attending the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Central Community College. The Student Leader Scholarships are based on criteria including a display of good and moral character, participation in non-academic activities, essay response to the qualities of a leader and completion of a personal interview with the selection committee.

Business and Education Committee Scholarship recipients:

Emma Bond - Kearney High School, attending UNK in the Fall.

Baylee McAtee - Kearney High School, attending CCC in the Fall.


The Business and Education Committee also awarded the first annual Bruce Blankenship Leadership in Business Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Chamber along with members of Bruce’s family to honor his exemplary business leadership and unwavering effort to help others succeed. Among other eligibility requirements, applicants must be planning to attend an institution of higher learning in Nebraska, with a preference to UNK, must be pursuing a degree in the field of business.

Bruce Blankenship Leadership in Business Scholarship recipient:

Logan Miner - Kearney Catholic High School, attending UNK in the Fall.


The Agriculture Committee also awards two scholarships to area graduating seniors. The applicants must be current, graduating high school seniors residing in Buffalo or Kearney County and must be pursuing a degree in agriculture, which includes Production Agriculture, Agri-Business and Finance or a related field. The selection committee reviews applications and essay submissions on how the student’s chosen field of study will allow them to make a positive impact on the agriculture industry.

Agriculture Committee Scholarship recipients:

Jacob Snyder - Shelton High School, attending CCC in Hastings.

Jacey Smidt - Axtell High School, attending Southeast Community College.


Youth Leadership Kearney is an organization created to identify, educate and nurture potential, emerging and existing leaders that are committed to improving the quality of life in Kearney and the surrounding communities. Students get a chance to develop their leadership skills and find ways that they can help our community grow. Youth Leadership Kearney allows them to build connections with like minded individuals. By investing in our youth they in return will help us form a better future for Kearney. Through our program, Youth Leadership Kearney creates connections with the Kearney community as well as with like minded individuals that are looking to contribute to the progressive mindset of our community.

Youth Leadership Kearney Scholarship winners:

Blake Thiele – Kearney Catholic High School

Emma Bond – Kearney High School

Carter Goff – Kearney High School

Hayden Wulf – Kearney High School


Mark Benjamin Building Opportunity Scholarship is awarded to a Kearney or Buffalo county student who embodies and exemplifies similar strengths or values of Mark Benjamin of BD Construction. BD Construction was founded in Columbus, Nebraska in 1960. Nearly a quarter-century later, in 1983, an energetic young man named Mark Benjamin opened a BD Construction satellite office in Kearney. Under Benjamin’s direction, BD Construction Inc. bloomed into a busy and successful enterprise, with construction projects throughout Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota and the surrounding states.

In 2002, Benjamin and other Kearney-based employees purchased the firm from the original owners. Today, BD Construction is one of Nebraska’s leading construction management and design-build contractors, with numerous field crews working on a wide variety of commercial, industrial, public and agricultural projects throughout the Midwest.

Mark Benjamin Building Opportunity Scholarship recipient:

Bryce King – Kearney High School

Congratulations to all Kearney Area Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipients!

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