Welcome to Black Hills Area Community Foundation

Connecting People Who Care to Causes that Matter.

The BHACF provides philanthropic leadership to build community endowments to invest in people and solutions that positively impact the Black Hills area.

The Walt Award Scholarship is a one year $1,000.00 scholarship.


The Walt Award Scholarship

The Walt Award is a scholarship named in honor of Dr. Walter Neiswanger, who through his generosity and community development work, left as lasting imprint on the lives of many people in the Midwest region. The scholarship is a one-year, $1,000 scholarship renewable each year for up to four years.


  1. Applicants must be a high school senior in good academic standing to graduate with plans to pursue post-secondary education at community college or four-year institution of higher learning, or a student currently enrolled in post-secondary education.
  2. Relative of an employee of a Black Hills area nonprofit sector organizations and companies with a preference for relatives of employees for for-profit companies working in the nonprofit sector.
  3. Applicant must write a 400-word essay that answers the following question: As you prepare to pursue a post-secondary degree, how do you plan to cultivate a community of shared learning, curiosity and teamwork?
  4. Academic major or area of study has no bearing on the selection process.
  5. To renew the scholarship each year (for up to four years), the applicant must provide official documentation of up to 20 hours of community service in the community they attend or school, or in the community in which their family resides. The recipient must also submit a 400-word essay that answers the following question: “What have you learned from your community of peers that you will someday bring to the way you approach your interactions with your family, work and community?”