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December 1, 2021

Clay Blair Family Foundation Scholarship Promotes Civic Leadership in Students at JCCC

Ashley Hooley-Lickteig, who goes by Kat, has big dreams. Kat entered JCCC as a non-traditional student. A mother of six, she says that she has “six sets of eyes watching me to see if reaching your dreams is possible.”

“I want to show them where hard work will take you,” said Kat. “For me, hopefully it takes me to Congress.”

While at JCCC, she was awarded the Clay Blair Family Foundation Scholarship. Kat said receiving the scholarship allowed her to focus on her classes and her future. When speaking about her campus involvement, she noted that it required a level of dedication she could not have managed had she been scrambling to come up with money for school.

Receiving a Scholarship Allowed Time for Campus Involvement

Tara Karaim, the Community-Based Learning Coordinator who nominated Kat for the scholarship, says Kat’s involvement set her apart.

Kat was President of Phi Theta Kappa and a fellow for the Campus Election Engagement Project. She graduated with the Civic Leadership distinction, JCCC's highest civic engagement honor. In addition, she earned President's List distinctions two semesters, was selected as a member of the All-Kansas Academic Team and was tremendously involved in voter turnout efforts for the 2020 election.

“Kat has proven to me that she has a desire to better herself,” said Karaim. “In her Civic Leadership Program reflection papers, I have read of her desire to improve her leadership skills so that she can one day run for office and serve her community. She will one day make an amazing public servant.”

Transferring with Little Debt

After graduating with three degrees from JCCC in Spring 2021, Kat transferred to KU with the eventual plan to run for Congress.

“The grades, awards and recognition I earned while at JCCC (are) allowing me to pursue my bachelor’s with next to nothing in debt,” she said. “All of this is because the JCCC Foundation and Clay Blair understand how important it is to support students. The words ‘thank you’ seem inadequate to express my gratitude.”

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