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23 Student-Athletes Enrolled in PEO Program for Spring Semester

By NU Athletic Communications

Lincoln, NE – Since being launched in the spring of 2016, Nebraska’s Post-Eligibility Opportunities (PEO) Program has been providing student-athletes with invaluable resources to further their career goals after graduation. Through the PEO Program, letterwinner alumni that exhaust their eligibility qualify for a one-semester scholarship valued up to $7,500 to apply to an internship, study abroad experience, or graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

This semester, 23 student-athletes are joining the PEO ranks and utilizing over $172,000 in program-related funds to take their career aspirations to the next level. With their added involvement in the program, a grand total of 167 student-athletes have now been awarded over $1.2 million in PEO scholarship dollars.

Among the new PEO participants is former Husker softball player Taylor Otte, who is using the post-graduate scholarship to take pre-requisite classes needed to apply for occupational therapy school. Otte did not settle upon her career goal of becoming an occupational therapist until the latter stages of her studies, but PEO has allowed her to pursue her chosen field without any setbacks.

“The PEO program is providing me an opportunity to pursue a career that I am so passionate about without it being a financial burden,” said Otte.

“I am going to be going to school for an extra three years, so the Financial freedom that the PEO program is allowing me is amazing. Not only do I get to pursue something I love but I get to continue to do all of this at a University that I love.”

This is precisely what the minds behind the PEO program set out for the initiative to accomplish when it was put into place in 2016. Three years after its onset, the post-scholarship fund continues to support student-athletes in pursuing career opportunities they may not have had the time or capacity to engage in during their eligibility.

In addition to Otte, former Nebraska men’s golfer Calvin Freeman has seen the program pay dividends for him as well. Now an Assistant Men’s Golf Coach at Southeast Community College, Freeman used PEO as a means of grasping an opportunity he otherwise would not have had.

“For my specific case, to take over as the head coach at this community college, you have to have a master’s degree,” said Freeman. “If I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do PEO, I would’ve never thought that I could take over as head coach [one day] because I would have never had the idea to go to grad school.”

By taking advantage of the post-graduate scholarship, Freeman now aspires to ascend to the ranks of head coach as early as next season. Similar to many others before him, turning his career goal into an attainable reality was heavily influenced by the PEO program.

“The best thing about Nebraska is the staff,” added Freeman. “They actually believe in their athletes. I think that’s the biggest part.”

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Below is a complete list of all 23 student-athletes that are using a PEO scholarship this semester:

Rosalia Baldo, Soccer | Physical Therapist Aide

Landon Bartel, Track & Field | Lincoln Berean Church

Jake Bender, Track & Field | MBA

Brison Cronenbold, Baseball | Ventura College Baseball

Jordan Ehly, Swimming & Diving | Sandhills Publishing

Tanner Farmer, Football | Lotus Yoga House

Calvin Freeman, Golf | Southeast Community College Men's Golf

London Hawk, Track & Field | Lincoln Public Schools

MJ Knighten, Softball | Wichita State UniversitySoftball

Marissa Major, Rifle | Horse Protection League

Gina Metzler, Softball | Nursing

Taylor Otte, Softball | Pre-Occupational Therapy

Esther Ramacieri, Basketball | Girl Scouts, Spirit of Nebraska

Zac Repinski, Baseball | Star Prop Real Estate

Alexis Rienks, Soccer | Newly Weds Foods Inc.

Amber Rolfzen, Volleyball | Applied Science, MS

Kadie Rolfzen, Volleyball | Integrated Media Comm., MA

Kari Sanderfer (Heck), Track & Field | Graduate School

Katrina Santiago, Track & Field | Walk About Park

Tristen Sharp, Track & Field | Youth Development, MS

Mitchell Westberry, Track & Field | Ishmael Phillip, LLC

Tierra Williams, Track & Field | University of Nebraska Athletic Department

Grace Williams, Gymnastics | Twistars Gymnastics Club

 

To learn more about other student-athletes resources offered through the Life Skills department, visit Huskers.com/LifeSkills.

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