UNI-CUE scholarships pave the way to UNI for four Waterloo students

UNI-CUE scholarships pave the way to UNI for four Waterloo students

Scholarship recipients holding up big checks

WATERLOO, Iowa – Four seniors from the Waterloo Community School District have received scholarships from the UNI Center for Urban Education (UNI-CUE) to further their education. The scholarships are $2,250 a year, renewable for up to four years. Each of the four scholarships recipients plan to attend the University of Northern Iowa this fall.

Amara Mielke and Daniel Listo have received the Grace and Joe Hall Scholarship, gifted by John Hall. Hall is a Waterloo native who attended West High School and graduated from the University of Northern Iowa. He founded Goose Island Beer Company, which he later sold to Anheuser-Busch. Creating this scholarship with the help of the UNI Foundation and UNI-CUE is his way of giving back to Waterloo TRIO students who go on to attend UNI. 

Mielke, who attends Waterloo East High School and is involved with Educational Talent Search, plans to study business management at UNI. Listo, a West High senior in the Upward Bound program, will also pursue a degree in business management, with a focus in human resources.

Cyrus Guizar and Natalie Baker have received the Dr. Jitu and Harshida Kothari Family Scholarship, gifted by the Kothari Family in honor of Dr. Jitu Kothari, who served as physician for UNI Athletics from 1981 until his death in 2003. The scholarship is specifically for Waterloo TRIO students who are involved with Upward Bound Math & Science and will attend UNI.

Guizar, who attends Waterloo East High School, plans to study music technology at UNI. Baker, who will be graduating from West High School, will pursue a degree in education.

“UNI-CUE is thrilled to offer these scholarships to four of our scholars with the help of donors like Mr. Hall and the Kothari family,” said Bethany Botchway, assistant director at UNI-CUE. “Our mission is to provide lifetime learning opportunities, and breaking down financial barriers for our scholars helps bring that to fruition. Giving these scholarships at the East vs West basketball game this weekend was a great opportunity to celebrate these students, Waterloo Community School District, UNI and our community!”

"This has always been a dream and goal of mine - to have UNI and the Waterloo Community School District connected to serving our families and students," said UNI-CUE executive director Robert Smith.

Since its inception in the 1960s, UNI-CUE has been committed to lifelong learning and exposing children and adults in historically disenfranchised communities to higher education. Located in Waterloo, the center serves the community with TRIO Programs, which provide educational opportunities and are funded by the Department of Education. In 2021, UNI-CUE expanded to also support students in Cedar Rapids.