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Give Back award lifts students, lightens financial load
Jorge Pena, a junior at GBHS, is preparing to take on his senior year as a Give-Back Scholar. Pena will complete his capstone internship program with the University of Kansas Health System – Great Bend with plans to become a doctor.

With one announcement, a student’s life was changed. Jorge Pena, now a junior at Great Bend High School, received the highly competitive “Give Something Back” or Give-Back scholarship during his freshman year. With the award, he will receive a full scholarship to attend one of four Kansas schools. 

Beyond the financial support, Give-Back Scholars also receive mentorship throughout their high school career that helps them navigate the transition to college. 

“I am impressed by Jorge’s hard work, motivation and determination,” said Lacy Wolters, GBHS ACT/Career coordinator. “He is part of the rigorous Biomedical Career & Technical Education Pathway and continues to excel in the classroom and extracurricular activities.”

Pena plans to pursue a career in the medical profession, with aspirations of becoming a doctor. As he prepares for his Senior year, Pena has been accepted to intern with The University of Kansas Health System – Great Bend Campus, a program that serves as a capstone for the Biomedical Pathway and will provide firsthand observation and insight into the industry. 

“I’m grateful to my family, classmates, teachers and Gui Burley at GBHS, who have given me the support I needed and opportunity to become successful in life,” said Pena. “My Give-Back mentor has also motivated me to ‘go for it’ and do my best in the classroom and with student organizations like HOSA. I’m beyond excited to see what the future holds.”

Wolters describes this as a life-changing opportunity for students. With the requirement to maintain a 3.0 GPA during high school and attend regular mentor meetings, students then choose to attend K-State, Wichita State, Pittsburgh State, or Baker University for their post-secondary education. Every Give Back Scholar receives a full scholarship that covers college tuition, fees, room and board, lifting the heavy financial burden associated with higher education. Scholars are selected as early as ninth-grade so they benefit from college readiness programs, campus visits, financial aid workshops, test preparatory classes, social events and more. 

Give Something Back is a nonprofit who works to provide college scholarships and mentoring to students who face financial challenges or barriers to success. They work to empower students to build resilience, overcome adversity, and find pathways to become self-reliant adults and leaders of their communities. Learn more about the Give Back Foundation at