Tricounty News

Local student selected for National Foundation Scholarship


Arvig is pleased to announce that Shelby Schiefelbein of Kimball, was selected to receive a $1,000 academic scholarship by the Foundation for Rural Education and Development (FRED). The given award is based on merit and demonstrated commitment to rural life. Schiefelbein was nominated by Arvig.

The FRED scholarship committee selected 54 students from rural areas throughout the United States. FRED awarded a total of $75,000 in 2014, which brings the total scholarship amount to $1.27 million. The program, now in its 22nd year, is made possible through the generosity of more than 500 independent telephone companies operating in rural areas across the United States and Canada.


“We are extremely proud to be able to offer scholarship opportunities through our connections to organizations like FRED,” said Mark Birkholz, Director of Southern Markets at Arvig. “Rural communities need bright and talented young people like Shelby as our future leaders, and we’re thrilled to have a chance to make an investment in her education.”


FRED strives to promote education and development in rural areas. Local telephone companies, including Arvig, are valuable assets to their rural communities. Arvig and the FRED are helping to create educational opportunities for rural America’s greatest resource, their younger generations. FRED has a longstanding history of supporting the educational efforts of rural youth. FRED’s work in rural communities has a powerful impact not only on the people who receive funding directly, but also on the larger community as a whole.

“We are thrilled to award this prestigious scholarship to Miss Schiefelbein. She was selected among an outstanding group of young people to represent ‘the best of the best’,” said FRED Executive Director, Melissa Korzuch. “FRED aims to assist students with high potential for success and a strong desire to return to a rural community upon graduation. We were overwhelmed by the remarkable credentials of the applicants. Each of this year’s FRED scholars is very intelligent and exceedingly active in their community. We hope they all will someday return to their hometowns to contribute to the community that clearly gave them an admirable, productive start in life.”

About FRED

In 2014, FRED is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Since 1989, FRED has awarded $2.8 million in funding for rural communities. More than 850 scholarships worth $1.27+ million have supported rural students for more than two decades. The mission of FRED is to promote educational, social and economic development in rural America and Canada. More
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About Arvig

Arvig is a full-service telecommunications provider, serving 28 counties within the state of Minnesota. It is the largest independent telephone provider in Minnesota, the third largest carrier in Minnesota and the seventeenth largest in the nation. Call (888) 992-7844, or visit, for more information.

Kimball graduate Shelby Schiefelbein was one of 54 students in the country to receive a Foundation for Rural Education and Development national foundation scholarship. Presenting the award on behalf of Arvig, the company that submitted her name, is Mark Birkholz. Staff photo by Jean Doran Matua.