WATERLOO, IA – Leader Valley is excited to announce a new Leadership & Legacy Scholarship for Minority Students that will benefit high school students throughout the Cedar Valley with plans to attend college. Established by CBE Companies (CBE) Owner and Chairman Tom Penaluna and his wife Ginger, this scholarship will fund and award annual scholarships and provide leadership training to minority youth in Black Hawk County, with an emphasis on those who have attended ‘Leader in Me’ schools.

“Leader Valley’s ‘Leader in Me’ initiative prepares students with employability and leadership skills regardless of their race, religion, or socio-economic backgrounds,” explains Penaluna. “Ginger and I hope this scholarship fund will help create a better environment for those disadvantaged minority students after they graduate, to come back to the Cedar Valley and help our community become more inclusive which will open doors to new thinking and enriching lives.”

This announcement comes on the heels of Leader Valley’s 10-year celebration on Jan. 10, where CBE’s founder Tom Penaluna received the Leader Valley Legacy Award for his influential role in the establishment and growth of Leader Valley over the last decade. Now, Penaluna is continuing his legacy of investing in young leaders through the establishment of the Leader Valley Leadership & Legacy Scholarship, which furthers his ongoing commitment to providing diverse and inclusive opportunities to traditionally under-served groups with a focus on Cedar Valley’s African American community.

“In 2020, our community faced the devastating blow of being named the worst place in the country for African Americans to live,” states Madelyn Ridgeway, CBE’s Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging. “Leaders in our community, like Tom, galvanized to do their part in changing that narrative. Specialized opportunities such as the Leadership & Legacy Scholarship seek to level the playing field, and give our emerging leaders needed support and encouragement as they begin their college and professional careers.”

The $10,000 four-year scholarship will provide up to $2,500 per year for a student’s freshman through senior years of college. The scholarship will also provide students with access to summer leadership seminars to equip students to become successful leaders upon graduation.

The Leader Valley Legacy & Leadership Scholarship will begin accepting applications in the spring of 2023. Students entering their freshman year of college in the fall of 2023 are eligible to apply. For more information, visit www.bit.ly/LeadershipandLegacyScholars.

About Leader Valley

Leader Valley prepares PreK-12 students for life by providing them with the essential employability skills needed for a life of effectiveness and a competitive advantage in the workforce. We believe this is achieved through high levels of community collaboration; through Leader Valley, strong partnerships are being fostered among Cedar Valley businesses, PreK-12 schools and higher education. Learn more at www.leadervalley.org.

About CBE Companies

CBE Companies is a national service provider specializing in innovative accounts receivable management and call center solutions. Established in 1933, CBE’s capacity to consistently adapt and evolve with ever-changing consumer behavior, business needs, and the regulatory environment sets us apart from other servicers.

We believe in people who drive innovation and prioritize client service. With more than eight decades of experience, CBE is invested in developing and nurturing its employees, solutions, and organization to thrive and succeed for the future. For more information about CBE Companies, please visit www.cbecompanies.com or email Marketing@cbecompanies.com. Follow CBE on Facebook (@CBEcompanies) and LinkedIn (@cbe-companies) to stay informed of company events, employment opportunities, philanthropic and community updates, and exciting announcements celebrating CBE’s extraordinary staff!