KOKOMO, Ind. – An Indiana University Kokomo freshman is among an elite group of future teachers, receiving the Next Generation Hoosier Educator Scholarship.
Awarded by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE), the scholarship is worth $30,000 over four years. Statewide, 200 students received the honor.
“I want to make an impact on children’s lives, specifically in high school,” the Wabash resident said. “As a teacher, you have one of the most important, profound impacts on people. My mom is a teacher, and my uncle is a teacher, and I’ve had some great teachers help me along the way.”
Makenna Norman is in the third class of Next Generation Hoosier Educators, and, according to Leah Nellis, dean of the School of Education, she is the first IU Kokomo student to receive it.
“Both Makenna and Wabash should be proud of her accomplishments in receiving one of these scholarships. It’s a prestigious scholarship, and the standards are very high,” Nellis said. “We look forward to supporting her preparation to become an educator.”
Norman chose the campus not only because she could commute from home, but because her mother, Mary Norman, and grandmother, Paula Winer, are alumnae.
“I knew the School of Education was really good,” she said. “I knew I would get a good education, and with my scholarship, a lot of my financial need was covered.”
Norman plans to teach high school history and political science, inspired by the example of Gregory Stetter, her social studies teacher at Southwood High School.
“He recommended me for the scholarship, and has been one of my most profound influences,” she said. “History and political science are subjects a lot of people don’t like that much, or they find it boring. I can make people see how interesting and complex they are, and how both are important in their lives.
“We need to know history to not repeat it, and to learn from it,” she said. “We also need a good understanding of political science to be educated citizens.”
After Stetter’s recommendation was accepted by ICHE, Norman had to write an application letter, and then interview in Indianapolis, where she also had to present a lesson plan.
She learned she was selected via email.
“I was so excited to receive the news,” she said. “I had just come home from spring break, and I knew it was the day they were going to announce who received them. I was so nervous. When I found out, I told my mom, and she was so happy.”
Norman is excited to begin her freshman year at IU Kokomo — especially because she will take School of Education classes, and start getting teaching experience.
“I thought it was so cool that even the first semester, they take you to schools. That’s what I’m most looking forward to,” she said.
To qualify for the scholarship, students had to either graduate in the highest 20 percent of their high school class, or earn a score in the top 20th percentile on the ACT or SAT. To continue earning the scholarship in college, students must earn a 3.0 cumulative GPA and complete at least 30 hours per year.
Recipients also must commit to teach in Indiana for at least five years after graduating from college.
“We are encouraged to see so many driven and prepared students applying for the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship,” said Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education Teresa Lubbers. “We look forward to the positive impact they will have in classrooms and school communities across Indiana.”
Indiana University Kokomo celebrates 75 years as north central Indiana’s choice for higher education.