Building Careers One Scholarship at a Time

Build Dakota Scholarships are not only helping fill positions in South Dakota’s high-needs industries; they’re also changing the lives of the scholars that receive them. Read these testimonials and watch these videos of past and present students to hear what they had to say about the program.

Wyatt hoped to follow in his parents’ footsteps and attend college but struggled with the notion of taking out thousands of dollars of student loans. Now he’s pursuing a career in the field he loves – welding. “By getting this scholarship, I think I’ve shown my siblings what to strive for,” he said. “This scholarship has opened a whole new road for me here in South Dakota, that’s for sure.”

The youngest in his family, Cody knew he wanted to go to school, but like many, had no idea how to get the money to pay for it. With the help of the Build Dakota Scholarship, Cody became a first-generation college student in his family. “The BDS has given me the means to go to school,” says Cody. “My family and friends are very happy that I was awarded this scholarship.”

Since she was young, Shyanna always liked building things with her dad. Now she’s building her skills in the Computer-Aided drafting program at WDT. “The scholarship helps people like myself who don’t have the financial stability they need to go to college,” she said. “It opens so many doors.”

Kendra has worked in the medical field since she was 16 years old. Like many non-traditional students, she put off going to school until she raised her young family. The Build Dakota Scholarship helped her realize her dream of becoming a nurse. “It has made me realize that you’re never too old to go after something you’ve always wanted,” said Kendra.

Hear From Past Recipients

Additional Resources


If you have questions on application process, debt conversion and after graduation plans, chances are others do, too. Check out our frequently asked questions and find the information you need.

Eligible Programs

The South Dakota workforce is growing, especially in specialized industries. Learn more about the high-need fields of study that have been approved for the 2021-2022 Build Dakota Scholarship Program.

Get Prepared

Find helpful resources to find an industry that is right for you, how to prepare a résumé and more.