Tyler Kaut earned his Bachelor of Applied Science degree thanks, in large part, to scholarships. As salutatorian of Napavine High School, he earned the Valedictorian/Salutatorian Scholarship. As an intended STEM major with top credentials, he also earned several STEM-related scholarships.
Over the course of his college career, Kaut earned the William A. Batie Science Scholarship and the Shaw Family Scholarship. He was also twice awarded the Jack and Agnes Miller Scholarship, the Thelma Baxter Estate Scholarship and the Board of Trustees Scholarship. Now, as Centralia College’s foundation specialist, he’s made a career of helping other students receive the same chance.
Kaut began working at Centralia College as a student worker in Instruction while he earned his associate’s degree. Then he moved into the eLearning department, which gave him an entirely new perspective on college operations. After graduating from Centralia College with a bachelor’s degree in Applied Management in 2015, Kaut became a Centralia College Foundation program assistant. “It was mostly donor database management, entering donations, setting up and tearing down meetings and doing meeting minutes,” he recalled.
When the foundation specialist position opened, Kaut was a natural fit. Thoughtful and diligent, he oversees every aspect of the scholarship process. He carefully considers each application, selects recipients, helps donors, covers marketing and manages the College’s annual Scholarship Award Night. “I really like the interaction I get with students,” Kaut said. “I got a lot of that in the Instruction office and in eLearning. I like being able to help them and get them money for their educations.”
Determining who does and does not meet scholarship criteria can be challenging at times. “It’s hard having to say no to a student when you know they could really use the help,” Kaut said. “But you’ve got to really follow the process that’s in place.”
Kaut focuses on the people he can help and – thanks to generous donors and the Centralia College Foundation – that’s quite a lot.