College of Idaho junior Tyler Hatch has a passion for public policy and effecting social change.
As a 2012 Truman Scholar – one of 60 students in the nation selected for the prestigious award – Hatch hopes to draw on that passion to help protect the rights of students in America’s public schools.
Hatch, a political economy and history double-major from Skyview High in Nampa, believes that a safe school environment is essential to a quality education. His Truman-winning policy proposal to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo advocates an amendment of the No Child Left Behind Act that would extend anti-bullying protection to students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual students currently are not protected in many states.
“I think it’s a timely issue,” Hatch said. “In the past year, teen suicide rates among LGBT youth have skyrocketed. We can see that bullying within public education is something that has lifelong effects on individuals, and refusing to protect certain classes of students because of their orientation or identity, I don’t believe is acceptable.”
Hatch and his fellow Truman Scholars were chosen from a pool of more than 600 applicants this year. Each of the scholars will receive up to $30,000 in grant money toward graduate school as well as leadership training, foundation support and special internship opportunities within the U.S. government. In return, each scholar is expected to work hard, maintain a high level of scholarly integrity and dedicate at least two years of their life to public service.
Hatch is The College of Idaho’s third Truman Scholar, joining James Wonacott (1993) and Varina Van Veldhuizen (1984). In the award’s 25 year history, Truman Scholars from Idaho institutions have been rare – Hatch is the first Idahoan to win while attending school in his or her home state since 2003.
“I think it’s very telling that the foundation believed an Idaho student attending an Idaho school was capable of making social change,” Hatch said. “I hope that my experiences here at C of I will prepare me for larger experiences throughout the country and, hopefully, the globe.”
To learn more about the Truman Scholarship and view a list of past recipients, visit www.truman.gov.
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.