Barradas of Pratt chosen for full-ride Rudd Scholarship

Jennifer Stultz
Pratt Tribune
Pratt High School student Colby Barradas (middle) celebrates his receipt of the Rudd Scholarship with his mother, Connie Clark (left) and his grandmother, Joan Clark (right). He will attend WSU this fall.

Colby Barradas, Pratt High School, found out last month that he was a 2021 recipient of the Rudd Foundation Scholarship, and a full-ride tuition-paid award to the school of his choice from among the sponsors. 

Every year, the Rudd Foundation rewards several students from across Kansas who demonstrate the grit and determination to achieve their long term academic goals. This  competitive scholarship was awarded to 30 students for 2021. Depending on the year, the number of recipients can differ. 

The Rudd Foundation was established by Leslie Rudd in 1998 as a way to honor the Midwestern values that strengthen character and lead to a lifetime of success in business, community, and family. The Foundation gives back in meaningful ways to help both people and organizations who possess the initiative, determination, and capacity to achieve their goals and thereby make a positive impact for those around them. Barradas said that the Foundation invests in the scholar, and he is free to pursue any major he wishes. 

Barradas said one of his PHS teachers strongly encouraged him to apply for the scholarship, which he did in December. He has been very active in forensics while at Pratt High School, recently qualifying for national competition in a new event for Pratt - program oral interpretation. He also has been competitive this year in Improvised duet acting, serious solo act and humorous solo. Last year, he made history in Pratt as the first student to ever qualify virtually for the National Speech and Debate Association finals in dramatic interpretation. Those accomplishments likely propelled him to the top tier of Rudd Scholarship applicants earlier this year.

“The Rudd Scholarship application took me around a week to input all the information and to make sure everything was of high quality,” Barradas said. “I found out during the beginning of January that I was selected to be one of the 50 finalists. These 50 finalists would have interviews (Via Zoom or in-person) during February. Then I found out at the end of March that I was selected to receive the scholarship.” 

While this scholarship has no limits regarding major, it can only be applied to one of three schools: Wichita State University, Emporia State University or Fort Hays State University.

Barradas said he was planning to attend Kansas State University before he received the Rudd scholarship. However, after a recent visit to Wichita, he said he will now be attending WSU. 

“I like to think WSU chose me,” Barradas said, “Wichita State University is now my school of choice.”

The Rudd Scholarship covers a recipient's remaining tuition and fees, books and supplies, and on-campus room and board, after other aid, grants, and scholarships are applied to their account. The expected value for the 30 new recipients over four years is approximately $1.1 million.

Pratt High School senior Colby Barradas is one of 30 official Rudd Foundation Rudd Scholarship recipients in Kansas this year.