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Alpine Bank awards CMU scholarships including newly created Latino-Hispanic award

Alpine seeks to join Grand Junction City Council in addressing local opportunities to increase educational attainment in Mesa County

Alpine Bank Director of Latino Services Susana Salamun and her team at Alpine bank recently learned of the community initiative underway for improving educational attainment among Mesa County high school graduates. Salamun heard about the City of Grand Junction’s Opportunity Scholarship program and noticed that the ongoing scholarship program at Alpine Bank shared similar goals and objectives — to increase the number of Mesa County high school students who go on to acquire some form of post high school training or education. On September 13, 2019, Alpine Bank announced two new scholarships that support this effort.

“Our corporate values dictate that we do our part to address Mesa County’s challenges related to educational attainment,” said Salamun. “These scholarships are available to Mesa County families for that very reason. Data suggests that Latinos remain an underserved population in higher education, so having one of our two new scholarship focus on that community is important.”

In 2018, CMU talked with area focus groups on how businesses and government could work together to move Mesa County’s educational attainment rates to a percentage closer to statewide averages. CMU President Tim Foster applauded the scholarship announcement.

“Everything helps and this scholarship will provide CMU’s career advisors at Mesa Valley School District 51 an additional tool to share with local students who want to shape their future with education,” said Foster. “The fact that Alpine wanted their scholarship to assist in Mesa County specifically shows that the community-wide effort is underway.”

The funds cover tuition, fees and books for recipients. Alpine Bank launched their scholarship program in 1996 and has been promoting education since that time.

Clay Tufly is the regional president of Alpine Bank and said that their program in Mesa County is an extension of an existing, long-term scholarship program that has been supporting communities for years and that adding Mesa County has been a goal of his team for 2019.

“Our company has core values associated with our community efforts but also have the flexibility to see ongoing needs and opportunities and adjust our program to those needs,” said Tufly. “The fact that Mesa County has room for improvement means there is room for us to do some good and that is what this scholarship program is all about.”

The first scholarship recipient was announced during the CMU Foundation’s annual donor appreciation event held on September 11, 2019.


Written by David Ludlam