Beat the Odds Registration

Posted at: 09/26/2013 12:22 PM
Updated at: 09/26/2013 12:24 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - Do you know a high school student, who has had to overcome obstacles in order to succeed? Well now is the time to recognize them. Each year the RCTC foundation awards scholarships to four high school seniors who have beaten the odds. And as ABC 6 News Reporter Brianna Long explains, applications are now open.

After losing part of his leg in a farming accident, Mitch Ristau had to overcome obstacles most teenagers don't.

"I just thought, I'm gonna have to learn how to walk again," said Ristau.

But his ability to move forward, learning to walk and playing football made him a recipient of the 2013 beat the odds scholorship. Today, we caught up with Mitch, now a college student in Iowa, studying diesel mechanics.  He says that scholarship is helping him achieve his dreams.

The $2500 scholarship is awarded to 4 high school seniors each year. The students are nominated, and then the winners are selected through a committee.

"We look at each one of these students individually to find out what they have to overcome, what were the obstacles that were placed before them. How long did they have to endure some of these situations that they eventually got out of and progressed from," explained Lisa Baldus, from the RCTC foundation.

Other past winners include Maurice Cain; a basketball and football star who grew up without a lot of money, and took care of his mom and sister, both with medical problems.

And Caroline Adams; an aspiring nurse who spent nearly her whole life being just that to her mom and dad, who have physical and mental disabilities.

"I'll tell you what, when you sit down and you read these stories, you'd better have a box of Kleenex with you, because you honestly cry through every single application and its hard to just narrow it down to four students," said Baldus.

Mitch says he encourages people to nominate students to help give them the same opportunities he now has.