Kids’ Chance of South Dakota providing scholarships for students

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Losing a parent can be devastating – especially when it is unexpected. One organization aims to lessen the financial burden for students wanting to attend college who have experienced that situation.

Karley DeKnikker grew up as one of six kids in her family in Lake Preston. When she was 15 years old the unimaginable happened.

“My dad passed away in a grain bin accident and getting that news was so traumatic and gut-wrenching and then just trying to navigate through that uncertainty was really hard for me and my family,” scholarship recipient, Karley DeKnikker said.

That was almost 8 years ago.

In 2017 she started college in Minnesota and now just graduated in May. It’s a step in her life she’s thankful Kids’ Chance of South Dakota helped make possible.

“Kids’ Chance of South Dakota provides scholarship funds for students whose lives have been impacted by the workers compensation system, where their parents may have been injured in a work-related accident or may have died in a work-related accident,” president of Kids’ Chance of South Dakota, Jennifer Andrisen Selzler said.

This is Kids’ Chance Awareness Week.

“This week is about getting the word out to students to apply, but also to the industries out there, the business community, health communities, everyone that is impacted by a work comp claim, to donate, to be able to provide funds, so we can get as many scholarships as we can to kids,” Andrisen Selzler said.

The first scholarships were given in 2016 and the organization has helped about 20 kids.

“We are a small group trying to make an impact, and I think we’ve been able to do some good things and I hope the kids find success in where they land,” Andrisen Selzler said.

“When I think of receiving this scholarship, I just think of living out my dad’s legacy and he wasn’t there physically but being able to be on this side of things, it allows me to think he was there when he physically wasn’t,” DeKnikker said.

You can apply for a scholarship or donate here.

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