Connecting with Students // The Chambers Family Scholarship
Jim and Marge Polacek can see the impact their scholarships make on Hawkeye students. Many of their recipients are balancing the demands of college along with the demands of work and family. For these students, this scholarship provides a vital link that allows them to finish their college education.
Setting up the scholarship started as Marge’s project. The Chambers Family Scholarship was established to honor her parents, Burton and Margaret Chambers, who believed in the importance of a strong education. Marge stated, “It was the kind of thing they would have been interested in.”
Marge worked with the Hawkeye Community College Foundation to establish the criteria for the scholarship. She wanted to help non-traditional, female students and thought it was important to provide financial assistance to second-year students. She also determined she would like to make more of an impact on these students by providing a scholarship for two consecutive semesters.
Now, both Marge and Jim are involved with Hawkeye and the scholarship program after seeing the difference scholarships make for students. Marge and Jim believe in helping others. “We want to give someone else a leg up who is struggling.”
The Polacek’s chose to support Hawkeye because they appreciate the overall concept of the college. “It’s a given. The college provides a lot of opportunities for students. Hawkeye is rooted in technology while also providing hands-on education. Students can get a good education in smaller classes and receive more attention from their instructors.”
Jim also believes in the partnership the college has with John Deere by providing specialized training programs that create and retain jobs in our own communities. Prior to retirement, Jim worked at John Deere for 45 years as an engineer. “Hawkeye is moving forward, expanding, staying with the needs of the community, and on top of things.” Jim and Marge’s ties with agriculture began at an early age when they both grew up on family farms. Today they look forward to helping their sons on their family farm during planting and harvest season.
Jim and Marge are great supporters of the college. Their generosity has truly made a difference in the lives of Hawkeye students.