$cholarships: Meet Kristie Diller!

Kristie Diller

CKCF Scholarship Program Officer

How long have you worked at CKCF and how has the scholarship program changed since you were hired?

i have worked at CKCF for almost three years in May (congratulations!!). The work has gotten busier and bigger as we keep growing all the time! I have tried to become more effective and efficient to keep it all together, including playing an instrumental role in establishing Community Force scholarship and grant management program at CKCF.

What is your process for managing scholarships?

I meet with counselors to market new scholarships and send emails to update counselors on open and close dates of scholarships. I update applications online, get scholarship selection committees together and make sure they have their compliance forms signed. We work with counselors and donors on student selection after a decision is made so they have information for HS award ceremony. Finally, I send award letter to recipient and then work with them on getting the necessary information from student so that check can be ordered and sent to college for tuition. Throughout the year, I work with donors to establish the next year’s gift amounts and update applications in Community Force per changes to scholarships.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy meeting with donors to update their scholarships if they wish to make changes, I also enjoy writing new scholarships and getting to know new donors and learn about why they wish to establish a scholarship, possibly a legacy scholarship in memory of a loved one. Most of the time, I really feel like these people are family to me after working so closely with them throughout the process. On occasion, I attend board meetings and that is enjoyable to me as well – it helps me to see how the whole community foundation model fits together, help with event planning and executing events, etc.

What advice do you have for students applying for scholarships?

Make sure you are eligible for the scholarship before taking time completing the application, build on your accomplishments when writing an essay; sell yourself! Why are YOU the best for this award? Your accomplishments, activities, talents and awards all help prove that you are the best fit. If you list all your activities be sure to focus on one or two of the most important ones by sharing details. Use details and examples to back up your claims and arguments as to why you should receive the scholarships you are applying for. Run spellcheck and grammar check but also have a friend or family member look your application over to make sure everything looks perfect and complete as technology does make errors. Be proud of yourself and your application!