Paraeducator Certification


The Sunny Story Scholarship is awarded each semester to a paraeducator taking a Kirkwood course that meets state paraeducator certification requirements.

This $400 scholarship is named after Allyson "Sunny" Story who worked as a paraeducator in the Cedar Rapids Community School District. She was a student in the very first course offered in Iowa that met state paraeducator certification requirements, which was one of Kirkwood's courses in 2000. In 2004, Sunny was honored by the National Education Association as its Paraeducator of the Year and received a $5000 award. With the award, Sunny established this scholarship. When the money ran out years later, she donated even more to keep the scholarship going. Sunny is a true hero in education!

Specific requirements to apply for and receive the Sunny Story Scholarship:

  • Currently or previously employed as a paraeducator;
  • Demonstrate the dispositions or qualities of an effective paraeducator;
  • Goal of improving skills and understandings that relate to working as a paraeducator;
  • Goal of acquiring one or more of the levels of Iowa paraeducator certification; and
  • Financial need that presents a challenge to paying for college tuition and textbooks.

Fill out the Sunny Story Scholarship application form. In addition to completion of the application, candidates need two letters of recommendation from teachers and/or principals who have supervised the candidate's work with children in a K-12 school. (Letter of Recommendation form.)

Deadlines for submission and letters of recommendation are: 

  • May 1 for Summer semester
  • August 1 for Fall semester
  • January 1 for Spring semester