As NISC celebrates 50 years, we celebrate the people who built us – our Members and employees. In that same spirit, it is new minds, ideas and innovations that will usher us into the next 50 years.

To commemorate our 50th, NISC’s employees invested in that future workforce through our “Giving 50@50” campaign, and today, we’re seeing the tangible ways those funds are changing lives.

The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) was one organization that received “Giving 50@50” funds. Dedicated to providing educational resources and enhancing the lives of rural Americans, FRS provides grants to rural communities and scholarships for rural youth, encouraging them to build up their communities. Oftentimes, receiving a scholarship can be the deciding factor in whether students are able to afford college.

Earlier this month, FRS hosted another successful Youth Tour in Washington, D.C., where high school students from across rural America traveled to our national’s capitol to learn about rural telecommunications and to tell their community’s story. Students are chosen and sponsored by an NTCA member, and are often chosen for their work ethic and success in school.

With the funds raised by NISC, FRS was able to honor students across the country for their commitment to leadership and service. FRS recognized five outstanding students with the NISC Leadership and Service Award and a $100 prize. These students were voted on by Youth Tour chaperones and were chosen for showcasing inclusion, kindness and service to others throughout the week. There were also 10 honorable mentions who received $25.

“We can’t thank NISC enough for their support of FRS and our mission,” said FRS Executive Director Jessica Golden. “The Youth Tour is an incredible experience for these students, and we were so excited to be able to honor them using funds received from NISC’s 50th Anniversary campaign.”

“NISC is honored to have supported FRS as they truly exemplify our shared values and mission of spreading the cooperative model, especially to younger generations,” NISC Vice President of Member and Industry Jasper Schneider said. “Our youth will play a vital role as we look towards the future of technology and innovation, and we hope they continue to feel excited and energized by helping advance their local communities.”

Congratulations to each of the scholarship and award winners!