2016 Trinidad State News

Two young women receive prestigious Kane Scholarships

Trinidad Campus / September 27, 2016 / Written by Greg Boyce


Two young Colorado women have been selected to receive the prestigious Kane Scholarship at Trinidad State Junior College. They are Jennifer Kramarz of Las Animas County and Kaitlyn Smith, now a Trojan sophomore, from Woodland Park.

The Kane Scholarship is worth more than $35,000 and pays for up to two years at Trinidad State and two years at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. Recipients are required to keep a high grade point average.

Smith graduated in the top five percent of her class in Woodland Park and was known as a tireless community volunteer. She was a Girl Scout, served on Student Council, was a member of National Honor Society as well as several other organizations. In addition she was active at in her church youth group and still found time to play high school volleyball. In her freshman year at Trinidad State she was named most improved player on the volleyball team, while maintaining a perfect 4.0 grade point average. After graduation from Trinidad State next May she plans to pursue degrees in biology and chemistry at UCCS. “Once I receive my degrees, I plan on attending medical school to study oncology and eventually become an oncologist,” said Smith.

Kramarz graduated from Hoehne High School last spring and became a full time Trinidad State student in August. But she’s no stranger to the Trinidad Campus – she has been taking college classes while still in high school for the last two years. Last year she was a member of the college Robotics Team and is on the team again this year. She is a self-taught artist and was a member of her high school speech team. She was also involved in National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, Future Farmers of America and the Hoehne High School Student Council. About her future Kramarz said, “I have decided to pursue my passion for computers and technology.” She plans to get a degree in computer science from UCCS after graduation at Trinidad State.

This merit-based scholarship program was made possible through the Kane Family Foundation and its benefactors, Wanden and Andy Kane. The Kanes were ranchers from the Fountain area who believed in independence through education. Together for more than 50 years, the couple had come from vastly different backgrounds while sharing a love of the Western lifestyle and an appreciation for learning. Their vision was to help others. The foundation allows their vision to continue by helping thousands of Colorado residents achieve the dream of a college education. More than 120 students now participate in the program which is administered by the Kane Family Foundation with assistance locally from the Trinidad State Educational Foundation Office.

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Kane Scholarship recipients Jennifer Kramarz (left) and Kaitlyn Smith (right)
with Trinidad State President Dr. Carmen Simone.

The Kane Family Foundation trustees announced the merit-based scholarship, one of the largest and most generous in Colorado, in January 2006. The program was expanded in 2008 to include students from Trinidad State and the three other southern Colorado community colleges. Students are selected based on their high school academic record and their demonstration of high motivation and potential for continued academic success as evidenced by a written essay and personal interview. The Kane Scholar program covers each student’s books, tuition and fees for up to four years of study toward pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.