Commissioner sets tech scholarship for county students

Marion County Commissioner Jonah Gehring has recently launched the Gehring Family Tech Scholarship which is a 501c3 scholarship that through donations and other means will award scholarships to students that have a desire to pursue a career in a technical field.

“It is in its infancy so the scholarship awards will be limited to $500 this year. Any student in the Marion County area planning on pursuing a career in tech through a technology college can apply,” said said Gehring.

Gehring, who also served on the Hillsboro City Council before becoming a commissioner and owns Elcon Service in Hillsboro with his brother, has several reasons for starting this scholarship.

“I’ve been on multiple advisory boards around the state and had a couple of visits with the Board of Regents, and it’s been well known and in our face that we had a dilemma forming on our own doorstep. Through economic development studies we started to see that a trend was beginning several years ago and that for every three technical positions that retire only one was coming in to fill the vacancies. This scholarship is one small way I could try to create awareness on this issue by helping students that will in turn help is all in our future needs,” said Gehring.

He went on to say that he wanted to give back just like he has been given to especially since he now has the means to do so.

Gehring said, “I’ve always wanted to do it, but it wasn’t until I got involved with government that I could truly afford to give up a paycheck, and I didn’t sign up for the pay so why not do something good with it?”

The applications are still being adjusted to match a screening rubric. A board for a selection committee has been started but not all of the seats have been filled yet. But they will be filled prior to awarding the first scholarship in 2022.

While Gehring dreamed up the scholarship and got it off the ground, he realized he could go even further if he combined forces and set up the scholarship through the Central Kansas Community Foundation and Hillsboro Community Foundation.

“If others would help, we could potentially help even more per year, but if not that’s okay too because Central Kansas Community Foundation CKCF and HCF has many other avenues to give that will promote positive changes right here at home,” said Gehring.

If you would like to help out or learn more, visit online at hhps://centralkansascf. or on FaceBook at Gehring Family Tech Scholarship. You can also contact anyone at the Hillsboro Community Foundation, attend the #GivingTuesday event on Nov. 30 or reach out to Gehring himself.

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