Scholarship Story: Donald P. Weber Veteran Scholarship

May 20, 2022

Katie Berkedal, Program DirectorBy Katie Berkedal, Program Director

Meet the 2021 Donald P. Weber Veteran Scholarship recipient

Natasha Normand, a student in Western Technical College’s Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technical Program, was the 2021 recipient of a Donald P. Weber Veteran Scholarship from La Crosse Community Foundation. The scholarship fund was moved to the foundation in 2017, and provides three annual (and renewable!) scholarships for veterans or National Guard members at UW-L, Western, and Viterbo.

Natasha’s story

Natasha Normand is a 31 year-old army veteran with a three year-old daughter. As a disabled veteran with PTSD, she lives in Tomah to be near the VA hospital where she attends weekly health care appointments. After starting school in La Crosse, she quickly grew concerned about the cost of driving back and forth every day.

When asked why she applied for the scholarship, Natasha shared that the scholarship would help her overcome the travel barrier to attending classes and getting her degree.

Setting goals for success

Some of Natasha’s short-term goals are to course complete the Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technical program with very good grades and obtain a position in the field.

“I need these short-term goals to be completed so I can set myself up for my long-term or life goal, which I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little girl – opening and operating my own shop!” shared Natasha.

She plans to set small, achievable goals each week or even daily, stay on top of her work, and turn assignments in early. She is determined to make herself better today than she was yesterday.

Her instructor, Casey Eglinton, shared, “Natasha is amazing! She brings a drive and energy that is contagious to the group. She is constantly asking questions to satisfy her hunger for knowledge. I cannot say enough good things about her, dependable, efficient, fearless, confident, sincere, helpful. If there is anyone deserving of a scholarship, it’s Natasha!”

Opening her shop

Casey also shared that Natasha has already been offered a full-time position in the industry upon graduation. That experience can help achieve her dream of opening her own shop. A shop, she said will allow her to contribute to her community and will offer professional high-quality work at a competitive price, with customer service that will make you feel right at home.

“All the hard work I will be doing will pay off in the end. It will contribute to my family to make sure they are well taken care of.”