Scholarship Alumni

In 2006, we started our 4 year Full-Ride Scholarship Program. This scholarship covers the student’s tuition, room & board, books, and fees for all four years. They also got a laptop and printer their first year. Check out where our past scholarship recipients are now.

Elizabeth Waters (Awarded Scholarship in 2006)

Where is Elizabeth now?

Life is great, since the years Elizabeth (Liz) completed her education through the Colorado Garden Foundation’s Scholarship, she has been teaching Agriculture and raising her daughter, Isabella with her husband Colton.  They are expecting their second child in August 2018. Liz is in her 7th year in education and her 6th year at Valley High School in Gilcrest, Colorado where she teaches a wide range of subjects directly relating to agriculture to 10th, 11th and 12th grade students.  Liz has the unique opportunity to teach a Greenhouse Production course where her students are running two industrial sized greenhouses and learning by doing.  As part of her job as an Ag Teacher I also am one of the two FFA Advisors.

What did the scholarship mean to Elizabeth and how did it impact her life?

The scholarship was life changing for Elizabeth (Liz) and her family. She always knew she would go to college but was not sure how she would manage a full schedule and a job to pay for it.  Liz is one of five children and the financial responsibility to pay for college was on her own.  The Colorado Garden Foundation Scholarship allowed Liz to really focus on her education but also build relationships within the green industry and with the board members of the Colorado Garden Foundation.  While Liz gained financial help through the scholarship, it was more than that to her; Liz also gained a support system and a second family that was there each step of the way and has continued to support her as she continues in her professional life. Liz is now many years past her college experience yet she still receives many reminders of the significant impact this organization has made on her life. Liz was able to walk away from Colorado State University with an exceptional education, a passion for the green industry, and a support system all debt free. She was beyond fortunate to meet wonderful people through this scholarship and value the relationships that continue today as a result.  The Colorado Garden Foundation Scholarship has truly helped shape her into who she’s become today.

Josh Johnson (Awarded Scholarship in 2007)

Where is Josh now?

Currently, Josh is a Tactical Planner in Real Estate for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM. In this position, he helps Sandia manage their existing space portfolio and acquire new space when the need arises. He works on long term strategic space planning, as well as helps to execute immediate and short-term space needs, and ensures environmental compliance for all leased and permitted space operated and managed by Sandia.

He is also a part time faculty member in Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico where he teaches a graduate course on visualization tools for plan making. He is passionate about ensuring students have the technical skills necessary to obtain a career and become a successful Planner after graduation.

What did the scholarship mean to Josh and how did it impact her life?

This scholarship allowed Josh to focus on his educational goals of obtaining both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. After finishing his degree at CSU in Landscape Architecture, Josh was able to attend the University of New Mexico to obtain a Master’s Degree in Community and Regional Planning without the worry of existing student debt.   This allowed him to focus more closely and intently pursue his passion for design and planning, and ultimately pursue a successful career in planning. I would not be where I am today without the help from the Colorado Garden Foundation, and he is extremely grateful for the opportunity the foundation gave him to jumpstart his education and career.

Ashton Dilka (Awarded Scholarship in 2008)

Where is Ashton now?

Ashton is a Land Specialist for Aurora Organic Dairy here in Colorado and she helps down in Texas. This position helps manage compliance with agriculture land-related regulatory agencies and promotes good management practices towards soils, nutrients, and water resources while raising animal feed and pastures as efficiently and productively as possible. Basically she helps manage all the pasture and crop ground to produce forage for the dairy cattle.

What did the scholarship mean to Ashton and how did it impact her life?

This scholarship allowed Ashton to attain a higher education. She did not have the financial means to attend a 4 year institution and was considering a trade school or junior college before receiving this scholarship. It impacted her life by allowing her to attend Colorado State without any worry over financial stress. She was able to 100% focus on school, get more involved in on campus activities and organizations such as Farm Bureau. The scholarship also greatly reduced the stress on her parents who believed Ashton needed to attain a 4 year degree no matter the cost. This scholarship allowed her to be a 1st generation college graduate on both sides of her family.

Jessica Alderson (Awarded Scholarship in 2010)

Where is Jessica now?

Jessica is a Commodity Merchandiser in Eastern Nebraska; helping producers develop marketing plans for their grain operations.

What did the scholarship mean to Jessica and how did it impact her life?

The scholarship that Jessica received from the Colorado Garden Foundation was more than just a scholarship; it was an opportunity to do more, be more and give more. It was the catalyst that propelled her life. It gave her a foundation to base all future goals on, and proved that any goal set was achievable. Not only did it allow her to grow while in school, it empowered her to drive forward. Her love for agriculture has never wavered and it granted her the freedom to pursue internship opportunities, educational experiences and a career directly involved in the industry. It provided her an opportunity to pursue anything that she set her mind to and launched her dreams.

Jessica May (Awarded Scholarship in 2011)

Where is Jessica now?

Jessica is currently a financial analyst at Premier Farm Credit in Fort Morgan, Colorado. Jessica and her husaband, Rex, also farm about 2,000 acres of farm ground and they have a small cow herd.

What did the scholarship mean to Jessica and how did it impact her life?

The scholarship meant everything to Jessica. It allowed her to focus solely on her education. With the scholarship she was also able to graduate college debt free, and as a result, have a head start in life after college which not only impacted her but it impacted her family as well.

AJ Brown (Awarded Scholarship in 2012)

Where is AJ now?

Today AJ is currently a Ph.D. student in Soil and Crop Sciences at CSU, scheduled to graduate in 2020.  He plans to continue his dreams of research and making a direct impact on irrigation and salinity management in farms around the world through research, teaching, and extension no matter what his future job is.  AJ’s research is more than a way to get the title of doctor, but much more a challenge to himself to prove that he can accomplish anything and use his talents and expertise to make the world a better place.

What did the scholarship mean to AJ and how did it impact his life?

The Colorado Garden Foundation Scholarship was an incredible opportunity offered from an even more incredible group of people.  This scholarship set AJ on a path to success in both his undergraduate degrees in soil and crop science and agricultural business, as well as his doctorate program that he is currently enrolled in.  This scholarship showed AJ what a huge difference you can make in an individual’s life just by providing support to help them reach their dreams and remove the incredible burden that college finances will put on a family.

Jessika Gill (Awarded Scholarship in 2013)

*Jessika is second from the left in this photo

Where is Jessika now?

Jessika is working as a design associate for Environmental Landworks Company, Inc.  She helps create landscape plans for residential and commercial clients, produces estimates for prospective jobs, and serves as a project manager for residential design-build projects.  It has been such a fun experience for Jessika, she can’t think of a place she would rather be.

What did the scholarship mean to Jessika and how did it impact her life?

Receiving the Colorado Garden Foundation scholarship has meant a great deal to Jessika.  Looking back on her college career she was able to pursue so many interests and participate in so many activities that may not have been possible had she not received the scholarship.  The scholarship allowed her to completely focus on her studies, play key roles in clubs within the Horticulture Department, and even study abroad.  All of these things have shaped her life, and it is humbling for her to think that she might not be where she is today had it not been for the scholarship.