NaturaLawn® of America has announced three winners of its Dan Collins Scholarship award. The essay contest, now in its second year, offers high school seniors and college undergraduates a chance to win scholarship money toward higher education.
Originally designed to provide $4,000 to the essay contest winner, NaturaLawn of America instead decided to offer three awards this year due to the outstanding response, as well as the caliber of students. The winners were awarded $4,000, $1,000, and $500 respectively.
The first-place award recipient was Cole Cerulli, of Maryland. This fall, Cerulli will be attending James Madison University to study finance. He is a well-rounded student, accepted into the National Honors Society and Future Farmers of America. Cerulli is also highly regarded by his teachers, mentors, and classmates as selfless and always willing to lend a helping hand.
Cole Madsen of Iowa, a sophomore at Des Moines Area Community College, was selected as the second recipient of the award. He studies turf management and began operating his own lawn care company, Madsen Mowing, in high school. His knowledge of turf management helped him during internships, where his responsibilities included maintaining Minor League Baseball fields and professional golf greens.
The third recipient chosen was Alex Noble, of North Carolina. Noble will be attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to major in biology with a minor in either forensic science or marine biology. Noble said receiving the Dan Collins Scholarship award was an honor. He intends to live out the memory of Dan Collins by helping “change the world in his name.”
The award was established in 2017 in memory of former franchise owner, Dan Collins, who passed away from cancer in 2005. “Dan Collins was a ‘larger-than-life’ gentleman who always had a funny story to share, an encouraging word for his fellow franchise owners, and a big heart for giving his best to help others,” said Phil Catron, company founder and president. “Dan’s efforts in promoting NaturaLawn of America and his franchise in the Richmond, VA area can be summed up by a simple five-word question he was so fond of asking, ‘Can I get you started?’”
Applications for the scholarship were accepted this year from March to May. Students were encouraged to submit a personal essay, as well as up to three recommendations for consideration. A retired high school principal familiar with scholarship award determinations evaluated each applicant, with identifiers redacted, to identify the top three winners.
NaturaLawn of America hopes these scholarships will help students prepare for their futures with less financial burden. The company also plans to expand the contest in the future to offer more scholarship opportunities.