An update from Danika- I’m a sophomore!

My first year of college was more difficult than I expected, not necessarily because of the difficulty of my classes, but because the difficulty I found in leaving the many great people I had met, and the town I had grown to love.

Danika Riddle (left), proudly displaying her award for Outstanding First Year Student.

There is a significant amount of difference when I try to compare high school to college, I think because of the freedom that is offered in college. I had such compassionate, encouraging professors, which made the classes that much more enjoyable. I had always heard that professors wouldn’t care, which is simply not true. They are there and they want to help you, you just have to ask. I am majoring in psychology and I’m quite excited that I have been accepted into the McNair Scholars Program for undergraduates who plan on getting a doctoral degree in their major!  I am excited about what my sophomore year at Eastern Kentucky University will bring.

Appalachian Connection Awards 2018 Scholarship

Appalachian Connection is pleased to announce the recipient of its 2018 scholarship. Ms. Danika Riddle, a senior at Perry Central High School was awarded the scholarship on May 8th, 2018 at a ceremony at her school. Danika will receive a grant in the amount of $10,000 to be used towards her higher education. She plans to begin her studies at Eastern Kentucky University in the Fall.

Danika Riddle, the 2018 winner, along with Appalachian Connection board members (from left) Patrick Farrell, John Cornett, and George Fitz

John Cornett, President of Appalachian Connection states, “Danika is a terrific representation of our mission at Appalachian Connection. We have no doubt she is going to come back and make a positive impact on the people of our region.”

Danika is planning to pursue a degree in psychology while at Eastern Kentucky University. After completing her education, she plans to return to Perry County and pursue a career as a social worker. Inspired by her mother’s selflessness and the support she received from Kentucky River Community Care after the death of her father, Danika is passionate about helping people overcome obstacles. She intends to use these skills to make a positive impact on eastern Kentucky.

When asked what it meant to receive the 2018 Appalachian Connection Scholarship Danika stated, “To be chosen as the recipient and perceived as a worthy candidate means people see potential in me. It is a potential I often struggle to see in myself, so for others to see that in me is life changing!” As the Appalachian Connection scholarship recipient, Danika also stressed that she wants to “show kids of the Appalachian region that going to college is a realistic option that they shouldn’t pass up. With this scholarship I have the potential to assist my region in becoming a place where people want to return.“

Appalachian Connection was established in November 2015. Its mission is to ease the financial burden of higher education for deserving students in Appalachian schools. Appalachian Connection is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization that provides scholarships to four year colleges. The scholarships have a value of $10,000 ($2,500 per year) and are awarded to applicants who demonstrate academic achievement, impact in the community, and a desire to utilize their education to help further our Appalachian region.

Congratulations to Danika.