Two local students who hope to build their careers in northeast South Dakota have been selected as the recipients of two co-op-sponsored scholarships.
Northwestern High School senior Christine Stoltenberg was selected to receive the $1,000 Basin Electric Power Cooperative Scholarship and third-year South Dakota State University student Matthew Sperry will receive the $500 Northern Electric Scholarship.
Stoltenberg is from Stratford and ranks number one in her class at Northwestern High School. She is also a four-year participant in volleyball, basketball, track, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), Future Farmers of America (FFA), student government, science bowl, and the BEST robotics team. Stoltenberg is currently the student body president and the president of the Northwestern FFA chapter.
Stoltenberg is going to pursue an accounting degree at Northern State University in the fall.
“This scholarship will allow me to pursue a major in accounting and a minor in agribusiness,” Stoltenberg said.
Stoltenberg would also like to pursue a master’s degree and become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). After she graduates, she wants to stay close to home and begin her career.
“My current career goal is to become an accountant in the Aberdeen area,” Stoltenberg said. “I would like to work with local farmers and ranchers to help them optimize their operation’s finances.”
Matthew Sperry of Bath is currently in his third year at South Dakota State University and he is pursuing two majors in precision agriculture, and agronomy and soil science. Sperry is also pursuing a minor in agricultural business. He currently has a 4.0 grade-point average at SDSU and is involved in nine different collegiate organizations. He serves as the secretary of the SDSU Agronomy Club and he is the fundraising/points director of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Sperry is also an adult leader for Brown County 4-H and was one of two winners in the 4-H Farmfluencer video contest in 2019.
“This scholarship will enable me to continue my college education and achieve my career goal of becoming an efficient, productive, and profitable steward of the land,” Sperry said.
Sperry plans on moving back to his family’s farm near Bath when he graduates from SDSU. He plans to use his degree in precision agriculture to infuse technology into the family farming operation.
“Technology in agriculture is the future and my goal is to be a part of it, not for my sake, but for the responsibility of feeding an ever-growing worldwide population,” Sperry said.
Sperry and Stoltenberg will receive their scholarships when they enroll in classes in the fall.