Kansas Division Scholarship Program
The Kansas Division Scholarship Program began in the year 2000. The program had two purposes. The first was to provide financial awards to students who wanted to further their education beyond high school. The second purpose was to encourage interest in the history of the Pony Express. To accomplish this end, the scholarship application was to include a three to five hundred word essay on a general historical question or subject the scholarship committee selects each year. Subject examples included:to select and write about your favorite Pony Express Rider, or to write about a Pony Express Station. Another example was to write about the impact of the Pony Express on the Civil War. The scholarship applications also included biographical information and a grade transcript of the applicant.
The applicants must be senior high school students from high schools located in the six Kansas Counties the Pony Express Trail crosses. The scholarship committee assigns a numerical score to each applicant (70% on the essay and 30% on the contestant's citizenship such as work history and grade average.) The number of applicants has varied each year the program has been offered from a high of 87 to a low of about a dozen.
The first years, the program only included the three Kansas counties of Washington, Marshall and Nemaha. It was expanded to include Brown, Doniphan and Atchison counties in 2003.
The first couple of years, two scholarships were awarded. Over the years the number of scholarships has grown. For the last two years a total of seventeen scholarships have been awarded each year. The scholarships include one for $2,000, two for $1,500, three for $1,000, six for $750, and five for $500.
2012 Application topic: Name the three founders and describe thier role in the development of the Pony Express. Which of these men do you feel was most instrumental in the development of the Pony Express and why?
Dr. Bill Oborny
Particpating High Schools
Marysville USD 364/Marysville High
Vermillion USD 380/Frankfort High, Centralia High
Axtell USD488/Axtell High, Bern High
Valley Heights USD 498/Valley Heights High
North Central USD 221/North Central High
Washington USD 222/Washington High
Barnes USD 223/Hanover High
Clifton-Clyde USD 224/Clifton-Clyde Junior/Senior High
Sabetha USD 441/Sabetha High,
Nemaha Valley USD 442/Nemaha Valley High
B&B USD 451/Baileyville-St. Benedict High
Powhatten/Kickapoo Nation School