The NSBA Foundation has awarded Erika Vandevelde, of Casco, Wisconsin, with the 2018 NSBA Foundation Youth Scholarship. She will earn a $2,000 scholarship, paid in $1,000 increments for the next two years.

Erika just completed her freshmen year of college at the University of Wisconsin Lacrosse, where she is in the pre-dental program as a chemistry major with a minor in business. Erika grew up in the horse community, competing in 4-H, Buckskin and AQHA events. “I started out with horses when I was very young. It’s something my grandmother did, my mom did and that my sister and I spent many summers doing together,” she said.

She credits her involvement with the horse industry with helping her develop valuable life skills. “I learned problem-solving, working with others, work ethic and sportsmanship, to name a few,” she said. “Horses have helped shape me to be the person I am today. It takes many hours to build the trust between horse and rider and I have learned that there are no shortcuts—patience is truly a virtue and no matter what agenda you have, ultimately your horse will rewrite your agenda most days.”

Erika plans to attend dental school with a focus on orthodontics. “I believe a great smile is not only healthy but helps with one’s self esteem, especially during the tough adolescent years,” she said. “I hope to continue to be involved in the horse industry and financially support my hobby and the organizations that make it all possible. It would be the completion of the circle of giving.” Reflecting on winning the NSBA Foundation scholarship, Erika noted: “It’s really great to be rewarded financially by an association that I’ve been showing and participating in for many years.”

Congratulations to Erika on earning this year’s NSBA Foundation Scholarship Award! If you would like to apply for the 2019 NSBA Foundation Scholarship, be sure to complete the application found on the Foundation’s page on the NSBA website. Applications and letters of reference are due February 1 of each year.

Erika Vandevelde - Winner of the 2018 NSBA Foundation  Scholarship