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Mason City Scholarship Updates

Mason City Scholarship Fund reaches $200,000!

MASON CITY | The Education Foundation of Mason City Public Schools has received a second $100,000 donation from Silicon Valley entrepreneur John Challas.

The Catherine and William Challas Scholarship Fund, created in honor of his parents, now has an endowment of $200,000. It was inaugurated with a $100,000 contribution in 2012.

The Scholarship Fund provides aid to Mason City students whose hard work is reflected in other areas outside of their grade point average. It has a unique criteria that allows students with 2.0-2.7 GPA to receive scholarships, versus the current standard of a 2.5 or higher GPA to be eligible.

Scholarships are applied to students attending North Iowa Area Community College majoring in general studies or vocational training. The amount per recipient has been increased from $1,000 to $2,000 this year, allowing students to receive financial assistance on half of their annual tuition for up to two years.

Challas has also offered to start paying for tutoring sessions as a part of the program for some of the scholarship recipients who show great potential but might need a extra help in certain subjects.

Challas grew up in Mason City and with motivation from his parents he worked hard to continue his education and work his way into the hospitality industry. He relocated to Silicon Valley and has been very successful in the real estate, hospitality and lodging business in California.

For more information, contact Education Foundation of Mason City Public Schools president Dr. Jay Lala at