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Video: UWRF student surprised with semester scholarship

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Caption: Jordan Livingood, right, is surprised with a semester scholarship from First National Bank on Wednesday, Dec. 6 in the UW River Falls cafeteria. Pictured with Livingood are her parents Jodi and Duane. Rebecca Mariscal / Rivertown Multimedia 2 / 2

Red shirts filled the UW River Falls cafeteria as members of First National Bank prepared to deliver a surprise announcement.

Eating lunch in the cafeteria at the time, Jordan Livingood thought she'd be spending her afternoon taking snow photos with friends - her roommate encouraged her to look photoready. Instead, she was surprised with up to $6,000 from First National Bank, enough for a semester's worth of tuition.

Among the crowd of First National Bank and UWRF representatives were Livingood's parents Jodi and Duane, who came from Lakeland, Minnesota.

Livingood said she had no idea it was happening, something both First National Bank Marketing Officer Kristin Wiersma and mom Jodi worked hard to ensure. Jodi said she only told family and Livingood's roomate.

"Cause I was afraid of who might open their mouth," she said.

Pulling off the surprise required a week of preparation, and a lot of coordinating, Wiersma said.

"It was a joint effort on a lot of people and I'm just really happy we kept it a surprise," she said.

A freshman education major, Livingood said the scholarship will help her pursue different experiences in college like study abroad as she work towards a career in special education.

"I think it's crazy, I think it's cool," she said. "I never would have expected."

This is the first time First National Bank has done this sweepstakes, an idea that Wiersma came up with to connect with the college community.

"I was trying to think of something that would create excitement,"Wiersma said.

As part of the sweepstakes, every student who signed up for an account with First National was entered, with Livingood randomly picked as the winner.

"We were looking for an idea to attract more UWRF students to bank with us," CEO Jeff Johnson said.

Johnson said it worked, with a record number of students opening account. The sweepstakes will likely be back again in the future.

"Based on the reception we received, I think yes," Johnson said. "It's one of our ways we can give back to the university, which we try to do as a good community member."

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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