Alexandria, Virginia – Donna Neeman, Peru State class of 2008, was named the 2018 Alumnus of the Year by the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans. Every year the Horatio Alger Association honors an alumnus scholar who has previously earned an undergraduate degree as well as distinguished her or himself academically, professionally, and philanthropically.
A press release reads, “The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., is pleased to announce that Donna Neeman has been selected as the 2018 Alumnus of the Year.”
The 2018 Alumnus of the Year Award includes a $10,000 grant from the Association. This grant may be used for continuing education, previous educational loans or as a $10,000 donation to the Alumnus of the Year’s high school for scholarships in 2018.
Neeman said, “I am beyond humbled! I can’t help but be thankful for the adversity I’ve faced in order to shape me into the person I am today. I’ve always loved giving back and contributing to my community, it’s just very humbling to be recognized for it.”
“Donna is the Association Field Director for the state of Nebraska and will serve on the National Scholars Conference volunteer staff this spring. Additionally, Donna recently accepted a volunteer position as the Region 2 Coordinator to drive attendance at the 2018 Alumni Summit,” continues the press release.
Neeman is also one of more than sixty State Field Directors. Neeman is currently the only Field Director in Nebraska.
Neeman said, “I feel very passionately in spreading the word about the Horatio Alger Association and its scholarship opportunities. The Midwest has a high percentage of low income families, and I was one of the fortunate students to receive a scholarship. I fear students might stray from higher education due to financial hardships, so I will do my best to push out information on the scholarship opportunities to help my fellow Midwestern students gain access to higher education.“
HoratioAlger.org writes, “The Horatio Alger Association has a network of nearly 60 volunteers located around the country who serve as localized representatives of the Association to promote the Horatio Alger scholarship opportunities to low income youth in their state.”
Donna is also the first State Scholar to receive the Alumnus of the Year award.
HoratioAlger.org states, “State scholarships are awarded to eligible students in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. The program specifically assists high school students who have faced and overcome great obstacles in their young lives.”
Neeman adds, “In 2004, when I was notified I was a State Scholar, I didn’t realize how big of a deal it was. Once you receive a scholarship through the Horatio Alger Association, you are immediately a part of a family of likeminded individuals that want to see you succeed. It wasn’t even about the money at that point, but it was more of an honor to have the Association look at me and say they couldn’t wait to see what I will accomplish.”
The release finishes, “The Association is grateful to Donna for all of her tremendous work and we look forward to highlighting her good efforts throughout the year to come.”
Neeman earned a degree in Psychology from Peru State before moving to Guam for three years. She has since moved back to Nebraska and currently serves as the Director of TRIO Student Support Services at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
Neeman is originally from Wausa, Nebraska. In Norfolk, she is involved with Kiwanis Emerging Leaders, Norfolk Mayor’s Diversity Council, Norfolk City Planning Commission and Youth Philanthropy Council. She was also able develop a scholarship for local high school seniors whom attend Northeast Community College.
Neeman is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Education program with a focus on Higher Education Student Affairs at Fort Hays State University online.
Since 1984, Horatio Alger Association Members and Friends have been funding need-based college scholarships to support deserving young people to overcome their adversity and pursue their dreams through higher education. So far the Association has awarded more than $125 million to approximately 20,000 students.
In addition to undergraduate scholarship support, the Association offers a number of services and opportunities to Horatio Alger Scholars including financial aid and scholarship counseling; college readiness tools; support and referral services; mentoring programs; an alumni association; and graduate grants.
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