Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013 6:20 pm

Grinnell, Iowa - New award will honor memory of Dr. Kevin Sterk ’91

Grinnell College is now accepting applications for the Community Mini-Grants Program, which provides catalyst funding for small- to mid-scale projects to help Grinnell become a more attractive place to live, work and study.

This year’s Community Mini-Grant Program will also include a special new award, named in memory of Dr. Kevin Sterk, who attended both Grinnell High School and Grinnell College. The Dr. Kevin Sterk ’91 Award will provide $1,500 to fund a community-based initiative that will benefit both Grinnell College and Grinnell High School students. Applications may be made through the regular Community Mini-Grant Program.

Ginger Sterk said that her son, who died suddenly in 2010, is dearly missed. “Kevin valued learning and had many outstanding educational opportunities,” she said. “He most enjoyed his Grinnell experience, and he was always very proud of being a Grinnell College graduate.”

Kevin Sterk’s father, Glenn Sterk, added, “As Kevin’s parents, Ginger and I are fortunate to be able to honor our son by giving back to the Grinnell community. This is the best way to honor Kevin. Nothing else would seem quite as right.”

“We are pleased to add the Dr. Kevin Sterk ’91 Award to the Community Mini-Grant Program this year,” said Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement at Grinnell College. “We are honored that the Sterk family thought of us as a way to remember their son and wanted to leave this legacy for both Grinnell High School and Grinnell College students. This award illustrates how we can work together across the community to make Grinnell a stronger place now and in the future.”

Mini-grants, which range from $1,000 to $7,500, are intended to support promising initiatives that enhance the social and economic vitality of the Grinnell community, including cultural, recreational and educational projects, those addressing human needs, and those enhancing the safety and beauty of Grinnell’s surroundings. Preference will be given to proposals that (1) request matching or challenge funds, (2) demonstrate collaborative partnerships in the community, (3) stimulate campus/community connections, (4) are distinct among what already exists in Grinnell, (5) improve on what has been done in the past and (6) show promise that the desired results will be achieved.

The Grinnell College Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement must receive applications for 2014 by January 31, 2014. The application is available on the office’s webpage. The Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement and an advisory committee of Grinnell College faculty, staff, community residents and students from the local area will review the applications. Awardees will be notified by March 14.

In addition to these annual mini-grants, as part of efforts to help Grinnell become a more attractive place to live, work and study, Grinnell College contributes to large scale capital improvements in the community and offers small-scale micro-grants to local nonprofits on a case-by-case basis.