The Truckload Carriers Association has awarded college scholarships to 15 students for the 2009-2010 school year.

"It's tough out there right now, especially for students, who must come up with tuition payments even if their families have less money to support them," said Bill Webb, chairman of TCA's Scholarship Fund and operating partner with Fenway Partners of Irving, Texas. "TCA's scholarships will go a long way toward helping some of trucking's most talented stars continue their education. Hopefully, they can rise above the current economic conditions and obtain a degree in a field where their expertise can someday benefit the trucking industry."

To qualify for the TCA Scholarship program, individuals must be a student attending an accredited four-year college or university. In addition, the individual must be one of the following: the child, grandchild or spouse of an employee; an employee of a trucking company; the child, grandchild or spouse of an independent contractor; or, an independent contractor affiliated with a trucking company.

Scholarship recipients must also demonstrate financial need. They must also have maintained full-time student status, and proven that they are individuals of high character and integrity.

The largest scholarship, the National Association of Independent Truckers Scholarship, which was $6,000, was awarded to Katherine Hoekstra of St. Anne, Ill. Hoekstra has been working for her family's multi-generational trucking business since she was in elementary school. She will attend North Central College in Naperville, Ill., in the fall as a freshman, where she plans to study business administration. She is eager to return to the family business after graduation.

The Mac McCormick Memorial Scholarship was given in the amount of $5,000 to William Besser from Sauk Rapids, Minn., who is in his third year at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Besser is a double major in mechanical engineering and business. His mother has worked in the trucking industry since before he was born, and he hopes to work within the transportation or industrial machinery industry upon graduation.

The $3,000 Thomas Welby Scholarship was awarded to Elizabeth Brosious, whose father is a 30-year veteran of Mack Trucks, where he serves in the OE aftermarket division. Her father's longevity with the trucking industry has played a major role in the financial support of her education. She is double majoring in theater/speech and childhood education/special education at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., where she will be a senior.

Melissa Martin from Goldwaite, Texas, received $3,000 through the Kai Norris Scholarship. Her husband, a truck driver for WVT of Texas, has provided financial security for their family of five children. His job has also provided funds for her to attend Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, where she's a senior studying elementary education.

The Truck Writers Scholarship for $2,500 went to Matthew Ritter of Pennsburg, Pa., whose father is a truck driver. A chemical engineering major and materials science minor, he plans to work in research and development for a tire company. He'll be a senior at Pennsylvania State University in the fall.

Ten additional $2,000 TCA scholarships went to Joshua Freeland, Coopersville, Mich., Stageline Express; Nicholas Ferenchak, Catasauqua, Pa., Mack Trucks; Dustin Tardiff, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, CRST International; Katie Watson, West Lafayette, Ind., Schilli Transportation; Christopher Nye, Superior, Wis., Atlas Van Lines; Amanda Hall, Carmel, Maine, Pottle's Transportation; Rebecca Udermann, Rosemount, Minn., Master's Logistics; Amy Colm, Mount Joy, Pa., Jagtrux; Jillian Mitchell, Eldersburg, Md., D.M. Bowman; Kathleen Kreis, Marengo, Iowa, Don Hummer Trucking.

Applications for the 2010-11 scholarships will be due in June 2010.

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