Planting the Seeds to Student Success

Published: February 24, 2016

A group of local gardeners is working to plant the seeds of academic success for students at College of Western Idaho (CWI). The CWI Foundation has received a $2,000 donation from the Idaho Gardener’s Association. The money, which was raised from a plant sale last fall, will be used to fund four $500 scholarships for Horticulture Technology program students.

The Idaho Gardener’s Association was created by a group of Master Gardeners through the University of Idaho in 2009. The association’s primary goal is to develop, implement, support, and/or promote community-wide horticulture projects.

“We strongly believe in community education,” Diana Oerkhe, the association’s treasurer, said. “We thought CWI was the perfect choice for us to support locally to help us educate our community.”

Some of the group’s members recently had the opportunity to see the potential fruits of their labor firsthand. During a tour of the greenhouses located near the Idaho Botanical Garden grounds in Boise, they met Leslie Garcia; an alumni of the Horticulture Technology program who now works for CWI.

“This program helps lay the foundation for either moving on to a four-year school or going to work in the industry,” Garcia said. “It’s such a great program. I love being able to show people what we are doing here.”

The Idaho Gardener’s Association scholarship will be available to full and three-quarter time students (with a 3.0 or higher GPA) who demonstrate financial need.

“We hope our contribution will help someone reach a life’s goal through CWI’s Horticulture program,” Suzanne Craig, the association’s president, said. “We want to support people who love horticulture as much as we do—not only as a profession, but as a passion.”

The application period for all CWI scholarships is currently open. The deadline for all applications is March 31.

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