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2017 Winners

Congratulations to the Winners of a FREE year of college at NIACC!

Leah Bormann of Mason City and Cody Whitehurst of Mason CIty are the winners of North Iowa Area Community College’s Extreme Makeover: College Edition. Each will receive free NIACC tuition plus textbooks and more for the 2017-2018 school year.


Leah Bormann – Mason City, IA

Extreme Makeover Finalist 2017
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Tell us about your current employment/life situation.

A year and a half ago, the love of my life and I got married. Nine months later, God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy. I love being a mom and wife, but there is one thing I would change about my life: MY CAREER. For several years, I have worked as a server at a restaurant here in Mason City. I really enjoy my job, but I would like to make more of an impact in my place of employment and have more financial stability. Furthering my education would help me find a more rewarding career that I would enjoy day in and day out.

What have you gained from your life or work experiences that would help you successfully complete an education at NIACC?

Throughout my life, personal and professional, I have learned the importance of hard work. I have worked hard all my life no matter if it was my job as a bartender, making my own clothes, or mothering my son. My experiences have shown me that if I put in the hard work, I can do anything. With that mentality, I know I can succeed at NIACC and I know this education will help mine and my family’s future.

What are your educational and career goals?

My short term goals would be to receive a two year accounting diploma with NIACC and gain the experience needed to get a job in the accounting field. Long term, I would love to become the Chief Financial Officer of a North Iowa business.

How would winning Extreme Makeover change your life?

This Extreme Makeover would provide me with the opportunity to get my diploma faster and take some of the financial weight off my shoulders. My current plan is to pay for my classes out of pocket without the help of financial aid, while working full-time. This means I will not be able to take as many classes per semester because of the financial struggle and time constraints, taking me much longer to get a diploma. This makeover would help me take the maximum amount of credits per semester to get my diploma faster, getting me into a career more quickly.

Why should you be the winner of the NIACC Extreme Makeover?

I would love the opportunity to go back to school and further my education. Not only do I want the best for my family, but I want to have a higher sense of self worth. Serving is a great job, but I want to make a name for myself. This would give me a HUGE leap toward my goal of becoming the CFO of a business here in North Iowa. Winning this Extreme Makeover would give me opportunities that I never thought I would get in my life.


Cody Whitehurst – Mason City, IA

Extreme Makeover Finalist 2017
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Tell us about your current employment/life situation.

I am currently working part-time at Martin Bros. Food Market in Mason City. I live at home with my mother and younger brother. My father died some years ago, and I help to support my mother, who otherwise could not get by without my brother and myself’s help and vice versa.

What have you gained from your life or work experiences that would help you successfully complete an education at NIACC?

I have gained the knowledge that it is never too late to further my education and expand my opportunities. I have also learned from talking to several coworkers and friends who are both former and current NIACC students what a great place it is to get an education. Additionally, I have gained dedication and perseverance as well as people skills and problem solving skills.

What are your educational and career goals?

My primary goal is to focus on my general education. Afterwards, I hope to look into various career fields such as something medical-related like radiology or a technical degree. After i graduate, I would like to start my career locally at someplace such as Mercy, possibly relocating to the Des Moines area or Minnesota in the following years.

How would winning Extreme Makeover change your life?

Winning Extreme Makeover would change my life dramatically. As it stands now, I have little chance of returning to college with my financial situation. If I was fortunate enough to win, It would lead to a degree that would allow me to help my mother out immensely and make something of my life at the same time.

Why should you be the winner of the NIACC Extreme Makeover?

I feel I should win the NIACC Extreme Makeover because I am just as dedicated and qualified as any other candidate. It would make a gigantic impact on not just my life, but my mother and brother’s lives as well. Finally I feel it is never too late to make a change and this is my best shot at doing just that.


Three finalists each receive 1/2 price tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year!
Francesca Garrett
Dena Monson
Amanda Reinhart