River Bandits owner Dave Heller presented oversized checks symbolizing full cost-of-college scholarships to Charlotte Flynn at St. Ambrose University, Daniel Tjaden at Augustana College and Oliviana Kramer at Scott Community College. The scholarships will help cover the full cost of college for the 2018-2019 academic year.
The one-of-a-kind Bandit Scholars program is the single largest college scholarship program in all of Minor League Baseball, encompassing more than 200 teams. It has been a staple of the Quad Cities River Bandits since 2009, when it was founded by Heller. The program has evolved to cover the cost of tuition at three institutions in the River Bandits backyard, Augustana College in Rock Island, Scott Community College in Bettendorf and St. Ambrose University in Davenport.
Flynn is a Dubuque native and currently a member of the St. Ambrose Bees women’s basketball team. She is a triple-major in management, marketing and sales. Flynn is a senator in the Student Government Association at St. Ambrose. A graduate of Wahlert Catholic High school, she was part of the St. Ambrose Dance Marathon which raises funds for local children’s hospitals. In addition, the rising junior is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, volunteers at the Humane Society in Dubuque and serves as a Salvation Army bell ringer.
Tjaden hails from Bettendorf and is a captain on the Augustana football team. In addition to earning two varsity letters on the field, he received Academic All-Conference recognition for each of his first two years in the program. Tjaden is working toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration and Marketing with a minor in Accounting. He also serves as a career mentor at Augustana, aiding other students in taking steps toward securing jobs in their fields of interest. Epic Stone is a presenter of this scholarship.
Kramer is a rising sophomore at Scott Community College. She is currently pursuing an Associate Liberal Arts degree. Her interests include graphic design and criminal justice and she hopes that her future career is in one of those fields. Kramer graduated from Davenport Central High School where she was a four-year starter and two-time captain of the girls soccer team. In addition, she was a member of the Art Club and National Arts Honor Society. She has been a member of the River Bandits street team since the beginning of the 2018 season.
The scholarships are funded entirely through donations and fundraising efforts by the River Bandits. The Bandits raise money throughout the year with events such as the ‘Race to Home’ 5K, the team’s annual golf outing and 50-50 raffles during River Bandits’ home games.
Each scholarship is open to rising juniors in good standing at Augustana and St. Ambrose, and second-year students in good standing at Black Hawk College and Eastern Iowa’s Community Colleges. Applicants must reside in one of the following counties: Bureau, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island and Whiteside Counties, as well as northern Knox County (Galesburg and north) on the Illinois side, and Cedar, Dubuque, Jackson, Muscatine and Scott Counties on the Iowa side.