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2021 Scholarship Winners

2021 Scholarship Winners

Our scholarship competition is one of the things we look forward to most each year. Once again, we awarded five $1,000 scholarships to local high school seniors. The application process involved creating a video telling us what they would do with a million dollars. We always love to see the great work and creativity students put into their videos!

We had a wonderful group of applicants, and we are excited to introduce you to our winners! (listed alphabetically by first name)

Ellise Otheim

Ellise explained in her video that if she had a million dollars, she would open a dog shelter, but not just any typical dog shelter. She said that her shelter would be a spacious outdoor facility to offer obedience training and even a ‘doggy daycare’ for owners to temporarily board their dogs. In addition, she would partner with local schools to welcome special needs kids to work at the shelter to learn job skills and receive pet therapy. Ellise will be graduating from West Central High School and will be attending South Dakota State University where she will major in nursing.

Kathryn Fletcher

In her video, the first thing Kathryn said she’d do with her money is tithe to her church to impact their ministries around the world. Then, she’d ensure that her student loan debt is paid so she can continue to give to her church and focus on serving others. After her debt was taken care of, she would use the remainder of the money to do mission work overseas and locally. She will be graduating from Dell Rapids High School and will be attending the University of Sioux Falls to study youth ministry and social work.

Madysen Schmid

Madysen used her video to explain four things she would do with her money. She’d divide it equally amongst investing, an emergency savings, a donation mental health awareness organizations, and lastly, a dream vacation with her family to Switzerland. She’ll be graduating from Harrisburg High School and will be attending the University of South Dakota to study nursing.


Matthew Gusso

As an avid stock market investor, Matthew used his video to explain exactly what he would do with a million dollars: he’d use it to make more money. After experiencing the triumphs and defeats of the stock market over the last five years, he says he’d invest $350,000. Then, he’d collaborate with his brother to build a duplex to live in after college, while renting out the other half to get a return on their investment. After that, he’d buy gifts for his friends and family, and use the remainder to grow his lawn care business by buying new equipment. Matthew will be graduating from Brandon Valley High School and will be attending the University of South Dakota to major in finance.

Reagan Jorgensen

In her video, Reagan said that if she had a million dollars, she would use it to pay her tuition, invest some of it, pay her sister’s tuition, and help her parents pay for their retirement. She also said that after she’d taken care of her family, she’d love to donate it to a foster care organization. Reagan will be graduating from Brandon Valley High School and will be attending the University of South Dakota to major in neurology.


Whether you have a million dollars or not, we share great financial tips and tricks for everyone on our podcast, Common Cents on the Prairie. Hosted by our Chief Wealth Management Officer, Adam Cox, we talk about everything from paying down debt, building retirement savings, to kids and money. Listen on our website, YouTube, or wherever you stream your podcasts.


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