Here at Tallgrass Freight, we love giving younger generations opportunities to cultivate success. Our vision is to build the best freight brokerage in the country — and it starts by giving back to the very communities that helped build us.
For our recipients, receiving the annual Tallgrass Freight Scholarship means they are able to buy necessary resources for their education that aren’t traditionally covered by institutional aid, such as textbooks and computers. Because generosity is part of our lifestyle, Tallgrass offers our annual scholarships to graduates of Caney Valley Junior-Senior High School and Sumner Academy — the alma maters of our co-owners, David Barnes and Damon Anderson.
Sumner Academy, located in Kansas City, Kansas, is Damon Anderson’s high school alma mater. “For many of our students, going to college would simply be out of reach without scholarships,” says Sumner Academy’s College and Career Coordinator, Martha DeVries. Even full-ride scholarships rarely cover or provide for everything a student needs.
“Thanks to this scholarship, our graduates are able to see someone who was in their exact shoes, who walked the same hallways and sat in the same classrooms, become successful and give back,” Martha says. “They’re able to look towards the future and work towards being able to pull the next generation forward someday. We all live on the shoulders of giants, and this scholarship is a great way to see that in action. It’s a wonderful circle, seeing people from the past at Sumner now touching the future.”
Sumner Academy’s Ashley Robinson and Mikayla Mielkus were awarded the 2021 Tallgrass Freight Scholarship. Ashley plans on continuing her education at University of Central Missouri and has dreams of becoming a teacher. She will be participating in Division II Track and Field at UCM. Mikayla will be attending the University of Kansas in the fall and looks forward to studying Astrophysics. Both are exceptional students, Martha adds, earning above a 4.0 GPA throughout their high school career.
The 2021 scholarship recipients from Caney Valley Junior-Senior High School, where co-owner David Barnes graduated, is located in Caney, Kansas, about three hours south of the TGF flagship office. The 2021 Tallgrass Freight Scholarship recipients were DaveeJo Benfer, Skye Scimeca, Jake Stanton and Brooke Thompson. “This scholarship gives these students a “hand-up” as they begin their post-secondary education and will help provide extra support to begin their freshmen year,” says Tiffany Bruce, Academic Advisor and CTE Coordinator at Caney Valley.
“We are delighted that Tallgrass Freight recognized the tenacity and can-do spirit of these four students and are supporting them in their future endeavours,” Tiffany says. DaveeJo will be starting at Coffeyville Community College before transferring to Pittsburg State University to study education. Skye plans to participate in the Kanakuk Link Year program before transferring to Liberty University to pursue a Criminal Justice degree. Jake looks forward to studying Nursing at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, and Brooke will be attending Northeastern Oklahoma A&M, pursuing a degree in Agriculture Management. In addition to their exceptional academic records, each student participated in high school activities and worked part-time throughout the past four years.
“When companies and individuals decide to do something to give back to the community, they may not realize the truly lifelong impact of that gift,” Martha adds. “People don’t know how positive of an impact they have. Helping a student go on to that next level of education is a gift that multiplies and multiplies and multiples.”
We wish all six 2021 scholarship recipients the best as they move forward in their education! It is truly a joy to be able to give back and contribute to the success of our future generations. Generosity and hard work is engrained in the Tallgrass DNA and we will continue to reward high-achievers, both in the community and within the TGF family. Discover how you can be part of a team that gives back by becoming an agent.