Who? What? When? Where? Why?

Again, this scholarship is available to ALL full time juniors at partnering high schools (except for any student suspended for disciplinary reasons at the time applications are due). As juniors are starting to think about life after high school, this process is an opportunity for them to explore their options. My hope is that this process will give students some focus and direction as they move into their senior year and beyond.

My name is Tyson Schaffner and I was born and raised in Ste. Genevieve, MO. I spent my entire school career (k-12) there and graduated from Ste. Gen High School in 1997. Of course I had big dreams during those years. I didn't really put much thought into how I would achieve those dreams though. Or if those dreams were actually achievable at all. My life has taught me that I could accomplish the most with good research, planning, discipline and follow through. I have been fortunate to have crossed many things off my bucket list. I have far exceeded what I ever thought was possible as a kid from a trailer park in a small Midwest town. The many life lessons I've learned on this journey had to be experienced to really sink in. My plan now is to show students my approach to accomplishing goals and provide them the opportunity to see what it takes to dream big and live bigger.

The Patched Overalls Experience is about giving students an opportunity to see what it takes to set a goal, make a plan by researching the very real logistics of obtaining that goal, and explore the personal value of what that experience would mean to them. This could be related to a future education or career path, promoting cultural understanding, or challenging oneself to new physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual limits for personal growth. I would like the students to know that they can achieve big things in life if they are willing to put in the time and hard work. Even though only one student is awarded the scholarship each school year, I believe every student that follows through with the application process will walk away with a very real plan of how to make their own dream a reality. The skills learned during this project could be applied to any and all goals they wish to accomplish for the rest of their lives.
(i.e. budgeting, researching /planning, time management, prioritizing, sacrifice, hard work, focus,  etc)


The initial application process will begin in September/October depending on the school's schedule. The applicants will be asked to create a proposal (15 minutes maximum) outlining the logistics and personal value of the dream learning experience that student has chosen. Every student proposal will be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of myself and various teachers, counselors, and/or administrators.  A winner will be selected by Thanksgiving break and he/she will have one full year to redeem the award. Upon returning to home once the student has finished their experience, the winner can then share what he/she learned with the school and local community.


I want the students to have a mind blowing, hands-on learning experience that will enhance their life in a positive way. The Patched Overalls Experience is for the student who is passionate about learning, curious about the world, and possesses a sense of wonder about the people and things in it. I believe there is great value in experiential learning. Not everything can be learned from a book or online. Some things need to be experienced!

Even though only one student at each partnering school per year will receive the scholarship, I believe the benefits are much more far-reaching. The greater impact comes from having the awarded student come home to share his/her experience with the student body and/or community as a whole. Every recipient of the scholarship will take part in broadening the horizons of their fellow students and community by sharing what they learned. I want the students to dream big and live bigger, whatever that means to them.


We have officially been recognized by the IRS as a full non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status. We hope to extend our program to other schools and communities but we need your help. All of this is possible because of your generous donations, so please give often. In addition to the donations, it is the dedication, hard work, focus, passion and sacrifice of everyone involved that will no doubt lead us to achieving our goals in time. Please make a donation to the Patched Overalls Scholarship fund today!


The Patched Overalls Experience is available annually to juniors at partnering high schools. Each applicant will make a proposal outlining the logistics and personal value of their choice of a dream learning experience. One student each school year will be awarded up to $2,500 to use toward transportation, lodging, and/or program costs of the plan they created. The winner of this scholarship is obligated to keep a journal of their experience and find a way to share what they learned with their school/community when they return home.

This is my offer