Dollars for scholars

Abby Tysdal, a Kennedy Secondary School graduate, received the Gordon and Cynthia Johnson Scholarship.

This is one in a series of articles written by students who received scholarships in 2020 awarded through the Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars chapter. The purpose of these articles is to thank the community for its support of students and their higher education goals.


Starting the journey of college can be a challenge to handle, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, though my freshman year of college has gone smoothly it still has been more difficult than I would have planned for.

Currently, I am taking my general glasses at M State in Fergus Falls which are all online, as well as playing women’s basketball. Having all classes completely online is an adjustment. One of the things that I have found enjoyable is being able to work at my own pace. On the negative side of all online classes is not getting the interaction of being face to face with your professor and classmates.

The biggest obstacle within the first year of my college education is not being able to go to class in person, resulting in not knowing what a real college experience is like. An important skill that I learned from the first semester is to write everything down. I am already a very neat and orderly person, but once I started classes, I was hesitant about what to do. I then realized to write down everything to help me process what to do and when to complete it.

Back in the beginning of September, I was granted the opportunity to be able to have access to the gym at the college so I could begin to prepare myself for the upcoming basketball season. While I was able to go to the gym and get some shots up, I was able to make some new friends with multiple other student-athletes, which helped me gain student-to-student interaction that I was desperately longing for. 

I have absolutely loved being at M State thus far because it is great to be able to live at home and still be around all my family that lives here but I am still getting an education that will help me in the future once I have determined my future career. I would like to give a special thanks to Dollars for Scholars for the opportunity it has given me to further my education, but in particular, a specific thank you to the family of Gordon and Cynthia Johnson for selecting me to be the recipient of their scholarship.


Abby Tysdal is a 2020 graduate of Kennedy Secondary School and is currently attending M State in Fergus Falls.  She is the recipient of the Gordon and Cynthia Johnson Scholarship. For information on making a donation for scholarships, contact Fergus Falls Area Dollars for Scholars, 601 W Randolph Ave, Fergus Falls, MN   56537.

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