The William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community has changed students’ lives for the better. With the foundation’s help, students have access to opportunities they wouldn’t have otherwise.

William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community or WHT is a community of students who are recipients of the Susan T. Buffett scholarship. The Buffett scholarship foundation offers this scholarship to incoming college students in Nebraska on a competitive basis who graduated high school in Nebraska with the plan to attend a Nebraska public college.

WHT is an organization that helps guide students towards success at the start of their academic careers in the classroom and get involved on campus.

Its learning community’s mission is to foster scholars’ sense of belonging while promoting learning, increasing engagement, and celebrating success. The organization also focused on developing meaningful relationships and voices of future leaders engaged as active citizens in the local and global community through the power of education for a foundation, For A Better Tomorrow.

“The WHT foundation has helped me personally by not only providing for my education but as well as providing opportunities that I never would have thought I would have,” WHT scholar Enrique Martinez said.

Martinez studied abroad for a semester in Japan thanks to the WHT foundation.

Another opportunity that WHT has offered is intramurals. These sports are an easy and fun way to get involved on campus and hang out with friends. Still, it comes with a cost.

For those who can’t afford the associated costs, WHT will provide funding a team and allow students to be a part of team even if they’re not a Buffett scholar. This gives students opportunities to be involved on campus and have fun, when in some situations students would not be able to without WHT help.

 “It’s a great way to meet new people within the community on campus and in the foundation,” Martinez said.

Alonzo Whaley is a WHT program coordinator who helps WHT scholars succeed along with working to coordinate WHT intramurals.

“(We) encourage students to do intramurals as it’s a great way for students to get involved and make new friends,” WHT program coordinator Alonzo Whaley said. ”We also encourage students to invite their friends to join intramurals as well because it only requires 50% of the players on the team to be WHT scholars.

“WHT is a community where we are focus on our student and helping them developing and building those relationships within a community that makes our students feel comfortable in an environment to that as a family.”

WHT provides opportunities for students to get involved on campus from Intramurals to camp clubs. For WHT student Gungsar Yungtang, he said he feels like it’s important to get involved in something like intramurals because many students spend most of their time with academics and studying.

“They offer Intramural sports and other activities to WHT students like me and others, giving students a chance to go outside and relax, you know and get reset,” Yungtang said. “You know sometimes you just need to have some time outside of the academies, where you can enjoy what you like to do.

Intramurals can expand to activities such as playing sports like football, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and many others sports and various activities like ESPORTS tournaments.

“I know a lot of other students that are like, ‘yeah, I want to play intramural sports,’ but ending up not playing intramural sports because they just didn’t want to pay the fees,” Yungtang said. “The great thing is that WHT helps students by covering the team fee and they will also provide a uniform.”

WHT students who want to create an intramural team though WHT can send an email to the foundation. WHT will send information about intramurals and respond to students’ feedback.

Currently there are three intramural WHT teams: indoor volleyball, outdoor soccer, and flag football. 

Beyond just the academics, the WHT is a foundation that helps their scholars thrive in life and as a person. WHT foundation tries to personal get to know their scholars and provide outlets like intramurals for scholars to meet other scholars like them and be able to have fun and be a part of a community.