In a world where dreams often meet the harsh reality of financial constraints, scholarships emerge as beacons of hope, transforming aspirations into attainable goals.  Scholarships can help launch students on a path towards an education or career that they want or one that they have yet to discover.

Logan Kuschel graduated from Grand Rapids High School (GRHS) in 2019 and received three scholarships through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation (GRACF): The Dede Emerson Scholarship, Reif Dance Scholarship, and the Alan and Rose Ann Fritz Piano Scholarship. She received a fourth scholarship from WDIO of Duluth.  As she graduated from GRHS, she also graduated from Itasca Community College (MN North Itasca Campus) with an AA Degree.  Logan then transferred to Minnesota State University (MNSU) in Mankato studying Mass Communication and minoring in Communication Studies with a plan to go into public relations or broadcasting.  At MSU, Logan was involved in Maverick Fusion (an acapella group on campus), taught a variety of classes at the Mankato Ballet, and sang on her church’s worship team. She also gained leadership experience as the Communications Director of her dorm floor. But then the pandemic hit.

During the pandemic, Logan moved back to Grand Rapids, continued her education online for the next year and a half, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communication/Communication Studies from MNSU-Mankato.  Logan says, “While the last year and a half of schooling was not how I envisioned it to be, after graduating, I took time to reflect on where I was headed next, being my opportunities with my degree were very limited due to the pandemic.  In that year of reflection, I decided to stay in Grand Rapids and was given a leadership opportunity with Target, working as the Service and Engagement Team Lead. Going to work every day and being in the position I was in meant a day full of communicating with everybody in the Grand Rapids community. And I enjoyed every second of it! It was in that experience of leadership and growing with Target that I really started to figure out what my true passion was: Communication. And gaining the satisfaction of HELPING so many people every day!”

With this experience, Logan decided to take her education further and work towards a Master’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders.  She received a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in 2022 while applying to graduate schools for the upcoming year. She was accepted into MNSU-Mankato’s Speech Pathology Master’s Program in Spring of 2023 and started graduate school in the Fall of 2023.  This degree will lead to a career as a speech pathologist, an in-demand career, especially in rural areas.  Logan says, “Speech pathology was my true calling!”

This fall Logan was placed in her school rotation working in Truman, Minnesota, at Truman Public Schools, and was given the great opportunity to work with kids on their speech.  She enjoyed every minute of it.

Logan is excited about her career and working with kids. She says, “Growing up in a more rural area, as well as getting to work in the schools this semester in a small town, I was exposed to how big of a need services like speech are needed in those communities. I would love to be able to offer that to a community I am living in someday!”

“The scholarships I received from the Community Foundation helped me in lots of ways to get where I am today. Sitting at the awards ceremony in high school, you don’t really realize how much it is going to impact you in that moment. But reflecting on my time out of high school and into college, those scholarships have given me endless connections that I can carry with me for the rest of my life, especially working towards certain career goals of mine. I wouldn’t be where I am today without those connections, and I give credit to the scholarships I received. They have led me to multiple job interviews, leadership opportunities, furthering my education, and so much more,” states Logan.

Logan’s education journey is a reminder that scholarships not only fund education but also fuel dreams, resilience, and the promise of a brighter future.   In supporting students like Logan, we contribute to a collective force that propels society forward and fosters a culture of education, one scholarship at a time.

Through generous donors, the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation offers over 200 scholarship opportunities for area students.  The GRACF scholarship application opens at 12:00 am on January 1, 2024, and is open until midnight on March 1, 2024.  To apply, go to the GRACF website at and Apply for a Scholarship.  Scholarships are one way that the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation has been connecting donors’ charitable intentions to community needs for almost 30 years to make our Greater Itasca Area a better place to live.