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Mar 15

Linn County Adastra Scholarship Program

Posted on March 15, 2023 at 1:27 PM by Britt Nielsen

Approved Scholarship Application with glasses on a table

In January 2023, the Board of Supervisors signed an American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) subaward agreement with Kirkwood Community College to provide $1,000,000 in scholarship funding to qualifying Kirkwood students during the 2023 academic year. The funding was used to establish “Linn County’s Adastra Scholarship Program” that derives its name from the Latin phrase ad astra per aspera, which translates to “to the stars, through difficulty.” 

The need-based Linn County Adastra Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to Linn County residents enrolled in credit programs at Kirkwood Community College. It is designed to help ease the financial burden and provide people the opportunity significantly improve their lives through education. This blog features three scholarship recipients sharing how the money is helping them “to the stars.”

Lexi Mikulas-Tenney, 20

Diesel Agriculture Technology – AASLexi Mikulas Tenney

“I did not originally start at Kirkwood and I wish I would have straight out of high school. I have had so many wonderful experiences and opportunities since coming here last January. The financial help that I received and do receive has helped more than you know. I do not come from a household where we had college money saved up for me to go and without the scholarships and grants I have received I would be paying semester by semester. So instead of having to worry about if I can pay for school, rent, or my next meal I was able to focus on my school work and am getting straight A’s. Kirkwood has been like a second home and I couldn’t ask for a better school.”


Myanna Carmody, 24

Liberal Arts – AA

“I was overjoyed and appreciative to learn that I was selected as the recipient of this scholarship.Myanna Carmody I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; I lived with my mother through elementary school and with my father through high school. During my elementary and high school years, both my parents were pursuing their nursing degrees through Kirkwood Community College. I was inspired by their determination to receive a degree and admired the arduous work they put into the schoolwork and studies at Kirkwood. When the time to become a college student came around, I knew that Kirkwood was where I wanted to go to start my journey. I have always had a passion for the arts and found a community of artists through my Kirkwood classes. Currently outside of Kirkwood artwork has become a strong passion of mine that I am able practice and fine tune thanks to the guidance of the Kirkwood professors who have been aiding me in this art journey. Due to the support of the Kirkwood professors and the students, I have decided to pursue a career in Concept Art and Illustration. Thanks to this scholarship, I am one step closer to that goal,” said Myana. “By awarding me the Adastra Scholarship you have lightened my financial burden, and because of this I am allowed to focus more on my studies and the passions that Kirkwood Community College has ignited, such as art and its community. Your generosity has inspired me to continue following my dreams of joining the art industry, and I hope that one day I can make an impact on others just as you have on me.”


AshLynn Wilson, 18

Parks and Natural Resources – AASAshLynn Wilson

“My experience here at Kirkwood has been amazing so far. Most students are friendly and always ready to strike up a conversation and the staff is incredibly helpful. I got my first scholarship for Kirkwood in middle school and since then it seems like the money hasn't stopped coming. Receiving the Adastra Scholarship for the Spring 2023 term was an amazing surprise and I'm insanely thankful as that scholarship is helping to cover my living expenses this semester so I can work a little less.”