TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — An Ivy Tech Community College Terre Haute student was one of two people nationwide to be awarded the 2021 GEICO Pathway to Completion Associate Degree Scholarship.
Shawn Pendergraf was the recipient of the scholarship, which is awarded annually to two Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society members who have held significant positions of leadership on their college campuses or local communities. He is the first recipient of the $1,000 scholarship from Indiana since the program was first established in 2014.
Pendergraf graduated in May 2021 from Ivy Tech with a technical certificate in Addiction Studies and is now completing an associate degree in Human Services. While studying at Ivy Tech, he worked as a peer recovery coach at the Wabash Valley Recovery Center, helping others overcome addiction.
“This scholarship is very special,” Pendergraf said. “To be selected out of two people is unreal, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
Pendergraf said he joined Phi Theta Kappa, the official honor society for two-year colleges, in order to connect with people who had a similar academic drive to his.
“I joined PTK to network with my peers alongside personal and professional development,” he said.
Pendergraf previously served as PTK’s regional vice president and the Ivy Tech Terre Haute PTK chapter president. Since 2016, the PTK Ivy Tech Terre Haute chapter has been awarded numerous times, such as being named Distinguished Chapter and being awarded Outstanding Chapter Officer Team.
In addition to the GEICO scholarship, Pendergraf is a recipient of the Terre Haute Bowen Scholarship, the Students First Scholarship, presented by First Financial Bank, and the Bill Kauffman Legacy of Community Leadership Award.
Pendergraf said he plans to transfer to Indiana State University to continue his education after completing his Human Services degree and work to earn a master’s degree in Social Work. He also said he aspires to become a substance abuse counselor, motivational speaker and life coach.
“The byproduct of this scholarship is recognition to Ivy Tech,” Pendergraf said. “It is a way of giving back to the campus that has already given me so much.”