Meet the students from Above & Beyond in the Daily News | Local

You’ll start meeting Winona Daily News Above & Beyond’s newest class of students today, with the first story featuring Caledonia High School’s Brandon Ross.

More stories will follow, at least once a week, as we share nominations from schools in our area.

Above & Beyond, inspired by La Crosse Tribune’s long-running Extra Effort scholarship program, is back for good this year after a two-year absence. And like every year, it will recognize high school graduates who have overcome obstacles and challenges on their way to graduation and planning for higher education.

These are often remarkable stories of courage and perseverance, and often Above & Beyond may be the first award the student receives. But this is a special case, and it comes with scholarship from area colleges or individual donors or organizations.

Over the past few months, we have made a decision that will make this award even more special. Above & Beyond now partners with the Winona Community Foundation, allowing anyone to donate towards scholarships awarded under this unique program.

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All contributions are welcome and will go directly to growing the Above & Beyond Scholarship Fund with the ultimate goal of awarding larger scholarships to these amazing students.

“Students who receive the Above & Beyond award are truly inspirational,” said Nancy Brown, President and CEO of the Winona Community Foundation. “Any financial boost they receive will be one less hurdle to overcome on their life journey. The Winona Daily News Above & Beyond Scholarship Fund will provide individuals and businesses with the means to make tax-deductible contributions tax dollars to support these young people.

It’s all win-win, as I said when we announced the move to the foundation. It’s exciting to develop an important program that benefits local students with new community support.

Donating is easy and donations are now eligible for tax deductions. Give a visit online

Checks can be made out to the Winona Community Foundation and Above & Beyond reference; this can be in the memo line or in the payable to line. Mail Winona Community Foundation, 111 Riverfront Suite 2E, Winona, MN 55987. Please contact the Foundation before donating stocks or mutual fund shares.

To date, we have received nominations from Above & Beyond students from Houston, Lewiston-Altura and Rushford-Peterson in addition to Caledonia, and we have been told they will be arriving soon from Winona Senior High School, Mabel-Canton, Cotter and Cochrane-Fountain City.

Thank you to our school contacts for sending in the applications so we can start reporting the stories. Nominations are due in full by the end of January, and all of our contacts have been notified of this deadline in September.

We plan to honor Daily News Above & Beyond students and their families at a May 11 scholarship ceremony at Winona State University.

Thank you to everyone who participates in Above & Beyond. You are making an incredible difference, helping local students get a big boost in their careers.

Bob Heisse is editor of the Daily News and the River Valley Media Group. He can be reached at [email protected] or 608-791-8285.

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