The Al Nelson Memorial Scholarship

Open for application on March 1st.

The Al Nelson Memorial Scholarship testifies to the legacy and generosity of longtime teacher, coach, and friend, Al Nelson. When Al passed in 2018, he asked that the money left over from his estate be gifted to Valley Christian, and that a “math scholarship” would be made available. The Al Nelson Memorial Scholarship is the method the school has chosen to honor that request.


Past Recipients

2023: Abigail Newkirk and Carolyn Slater

2022: Maddi Wallace and Abigail Arneson

2021: Michaela Schuler and Abbie Dykstra

2020: Katarina Woldt and Megan Davies

2019: Hannah Knipmeyer and Meiling Liknes


The Al Nelson Memorial Scholarship is intended as a financial merit scholarship for an exceptional or aspiring math/STEM student who is graduating from VCHS and pursuing a math or STEM emphasis or career post-high school. If no suitable student qualifies in any given year, the scholarship will be awarded as a financial merit scholarship for an exceptional or aspiring math student currently attending VCS (high school or junior high).



$2,000 one-time scholarship



  • Student must currently be enrolled in 12th grade at VCS
    • As noted above, if no suitable student qualifies, the award may be given to a non-graduating VCS student
  • Student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher
  • Student must demonstrate their pursuit of a math or STEM emphasis or career
  • Students that demonstrate some level of “well-roundedness” and participation in clubs, programs, teams, etc will be given preference
  • Student must complete an essay (no more than 400 words) about their plans/goals within math/STEM, what they enjoy about math/STEM, or what specific experience shaped their view on math/STEM.



  • Complete the form below.
  • 2023-24 applications must be submitted by March 31, 2024.
  • The winner will be announced at senior chapel.
  • Scholarships will be sent to the post-high school institution directly.

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After clicking “Submit,” the page will refresh and you will see a confirmation that your application has been submitted. This will display in red text and say, “Thank you for completing the Al Nelson STEM Scholarship application.” If you do not see this confirmation, your application may not have been submitted.