Elementary Education (first award), Children or Youth Ministries (second award).
Must be enrolled full-time at Northwest University, demonstrate financial need, have at least a 3.0 G.P.A. as a student in high school or college, have an outstanding citizenship record, and demonstrate a Christian lifestyle showing constructive leadership in a Christian college environment.
Tyler James Pecota was a boy who had vision. His desire to someday attend college was apparent even at an early age. Tyler’s vision dimmed at the age of 10 only because of a cancer that took his life in 1992.
What was Tyler’s vision? - To train for Christian leadership and service at Northwest University. [Northwest University is the alma mater of his father, Jim, and his Uncle Steve, and the college where his grandfather, Dan Pecota, served as a professor of Bible and theology for 38 years.] It is the desire of the Pecota family that each year a scholarship will assist a student majoring in elementary education or pastoral ministry to children and youth.
Through the generous contributions of family members, friends, Northwest alumni and students, and businesses, the Tyler James Pecota Scholarship Fund has been established.
Dr. Dan Pecota [Grandpa] shares the unique way in which initial funds were raised. “The Bible says that ‘old men will dream dreams. . .’ and, I guess, that’s where I am. I’d like to tell you about two of my dreams. Tyler James, our eldest grandson, died on May 26, 1992, three days after his tenth birthday. A massive brain tumor took him from us but transported him into the presence of the Savior whom Tyler loved. Tyler always wanted to attend ‘Grampa’s college’. In fact, from his allowance, birthday money, etc., he had $400.00 in the bank for his tuition. Ever since he died, I have had the dream of establishing a student scholarship for Northwest University students in his memory.”
“Another dream I had dates back a number of years when Steve, and a few friends biked to San Francisco. Ever since then I have dreamed of doing the same. Me? This old man? . . .One day I thought to myself, “Why not bring the two dreams together?” I have walked and jogged to raise funds for various worthy causes. Can I bike to San Francisco, the city where I grew up, to raise funds for a student scholarship in memory of Tyler?”
The Northwest University student body responded by giving Doc Pecota a 24-speed Bianchi (bicycle) to make the trek. The Northwest Class of 1995 contributed $500 to the memorial fund. In August 1995, Doc, Steve and Jim, and NU student, Sam Carrigan, pedaled 921.3 miles in 14 days - - no days off. “What a rush of exhilaration when we stood at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge and realized that we had accomplished our goal! Crossing the bridge was a blast.”
Gifts and pledges from as many as 500 individuals and businesses have poured into the University in support of the bikers’ demonstration of physical sacrifice—inspired by Tyler.
Yet to be mentioned is the dollar goal of the fund. It is anticipated that the fund will reach $100,000, and the family is believing this will happen. [Balance as of April 2000 is $75,000]. Can you imagine how your own response to a young man’s vision can be re-kindled through the lives of current college students at NU?
Dr. Dan Pecota died July 1, 1997, just a few years after his bicycle trip. Before his death, he asked family members to direct gifts in his memory to the Tyler James Pecota Scholarship Fund.