The Underdog Foundation is a Registered 501-c3 Non-Profit Organization.

About The Underdog Scholarship

In 2013, RF Buche decided to change the Buche Foods Scholarship program that was offered to area high school seniors. To encourage and help kids going to college that maybe weren’t the best athlete or at the top of their class, RF created The Underdog Scholarship. This scholarship is directed towards kids that managed to overcome a seemingly unsurmountable obstacle in their path to adulthood with grace and sheer grit.

After only one year of offering this new Underdog Scholarship, RF decided that offering scholarships to the underdogs of the community wasn’t enough. Out of a need to help more people that may be struggling with an endless barrage roadblocks life seems to be throwing at them, The Underdog Foundation was born. This foundation is aimed to help people that no matter what happens to them, they keep getting back up and dusting themselves off. The Underdog Foundation wants to be there to help pick them up.

Past Underdog Scholarship Recipients


  • Mallory Cikah – Mallory Cihok
  • Rochelle Dicus – Tripp-Delmont High School
  • Zachary Ekberg – Colome High School
  • Emily Hagge – Scotland Hish School
  • Tanner McColskey – Todd County High School
  • Noah St. Pierre – Wagner High School


  • Nyssa Fechner – Tripp-Delmont High School
  • Chelsey Hisek – Bon Homme High School
  • Kristen Holmberg – Gregory High School
  • Link Tucker – White River High School
  • Katie Winckler – Scotland High School
  • Lucas Young – Wagner High School


  • Sydney Gall – Scotland High School
  • Alicia Hanson – Tripp-Delmont High School
  • Faith Knodel – Avon High School
  • Sage Mednansky – White River High School
  • Trenton Seegers – Colome High School
  • Megan Zephier – Wagner High School


  • Jamie McGowan – White River High School
  • Chloe Noteboom – Wagner High School
  • Triv Vosika – Gregory High School


  • Jaslynn Bruguier – Wagner High School
  • Thyme Edoff – South Central High School
  • Alexandra Fernau – South Central High School
  • Sarah Keefe – White River High School
  • Max Klundt – Gregory High School
  • Jamin Leonard – Armour High School
  • Bryton Whipple – St. Francis Indian School
  • Donald Yackley – White River High School


  • Hannah Gibeau – Tripp-Delmont High School
  • Amanda Konechne – Burke High School
  • Madison Mora – Wagner High School
  • Lainie Plank – Todd County High School
  • Vernon Plenty Bull – Bennett County High School
  • Shanelle Lone Dog – Todd County High School
  • Daniel Pumpkin Seed – Crazy Horse High School
  • Anna Ronspies – Wagner High School
  • Timothy Waters – Red Cloud High School


  • Mankato LeBeaux – Pine Ridge High School
  • Morgan Nedved – Wagner High School
  • Haley Wenger – Gregory High School
  • Jacob Wike – Todd County High School


  • Marissa Feeman – Lyman High School
  • Ashlee Gerber – Armour High School
  • Saydee Heath – Colome High School
  • Keeley Klein – Gregory High School
  • Caleigh Little – Lower Brule High School
  • Remedy Morrison – White River High School
  • Ciara Nelson – Wagner High School
  • Haleigh Reis-Elwood – Lyman High School
  • Amia Roach-Valandra – White River High School

Past Underdog Scholarship Essays

Student Applicant

I’m graduating high school this spring, and going to college this fall. I never thought I would make it this far. Hi  I’m going to tell you a little bit about me and how I got to this point in my life with the support of my family and my community. I wouldn’t have got this far without them.

When I was about the age of six my mom started having trouble with her heath. We went to so many doctors and yet they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her. We finally got a diagnosis a few years later. She had mitochondria) disease. What that disease is it is a muscular problem that make the muscles and nerves weak. Now she is left in a wheel chair. Every day I think to myself that if she can learn to live in a wheel chair the rest of her life then I can make it through high school and college.

With the disease it’s hard for her to do most thing around the house. So I being the oldest I have to take care of the cooking and most of the cleaning in the house. Over the years I have learned that cooking is not just my hobby/chore it’s what I want to do after high school.

In the past years I have thought my self how to make food for us out of not a lot of stuff at home, because living in the country you can’t all ways just stop what you’re doing and drive the 20 minutes to the store to get milk. I have also become pretty good at grilling and smoking meat. In the past month or so I have made homemade hotdogs, ring bologna, jerky, and snack sticks while working part time in town and going to school full time.

If I told you all that I have thought myself to make over the years I will be here for a while. So I’m going to leave it at that. This fall I plan to attend the Culinary Academy of South Dakota and Mitchell Tech.

Thank you for considering me for the scholarship.

Student Applicant

It was December 11th, 2012. I was fast asleep when I heard loud knocks on my door. The moment I opened my door, I received news that changed my life forever. I was thirteen years old when my brother, “C”, committed suicide. His death rattled my family to the core. It truly felt like the world was ending, like it had crumbled around me and I was stuck beneath the rubble. I thought my life was over, but my story is proof that perseverance and optimism can carry one through even the most difficult battles.

When “C” died, I put up a front—I pretended that everything was okay. I did not want to be a burden on those around me. My efforts were counterproductive. The weight of my pain began to feel overwhelming. I developed anxiety and depression shortly after. I began having panic attacks that seemed crippling. I never knew when they would strike, and I was embarrassed of them; I was in constant fear that people would find out that I was not okay.

One day, in the midst of a panic attack, I called my mother in a state of irrational terror. That phone call was the first time I had allowed anyone to witness my struggle. I had thought that they would judge me for being dramatic, or that they would say I was weak. I was wrong. After finding out about what I had been going through, my mother set up an appointment for me with a therapist. I had always thought that going to therapy was looked down upon; I always thought it would be embarrassing. Once again, however, I was wrong.

Seeking help is never weak. Taking care of yourself is not weak. Leaning on those who love you is not weak. It takes immense strength to confide in others. The world will never stop spinning, and life will always continue. When I was struggling with the death of my brother, my anxiety, and my depression, that fact seemed terrifying and overwhelming. Now, after persevering through everything that I have faced thus far, my view has completely flipped. The dependability of the world brings me great comfort. No matter how bad life seems to get, and no matter how dark the night is, a new day will always come.

Student Applicant

Hi, I am I Senior at a local High School. I was born with Down Syndrome, which means I have an extra 21st chromosome. You would think having something extra would be better but my doctors told me in this case extra means I will have to work a lot harder with my fine, oral and large muscles.

Since I had the very low tone oral muscles, drinking and eating were always a very hard skill for me. My mom and dad said it took me 2 hours for 2 ounces of milk when I was little. I started speech therapy when I was 6 weeks old, 2 days a week. Speech therapy has always been a part of my life as I still receive speech therapy 2 days a week to help me with my speech skills.

The same muscles you use for eating you use for speaking. My biggest struggle is being able to talk so people can understand me at all times and enjoying conversations with all my friends. Since my muscles seem to not always work like I want them to I have learned not to give up on those conversations with others so I use a communication tool if needed, gestures, writing out the words to be successful.

With all my oral therapy I was able to learn to play the baritone. I love playing baritone! I belong to the concert, pep, and marching band. I brought TubaChristmas to Armour as my senior venture project. I wanted to show others how proud I am to be able to play an instrument and how many hours of therapy can help you accomplish a dream you love.

I worked very hard on my large muscles. I started receiving physical therapy on a weekly schedule shortly after birth. I started walking when I was 2 years old. I was able to kneel on one knee when I was three years old. I guess that is a skill some kids just do all on their own but I had to work and work on that skill. I am able to ride a bike which my therapist was amazed I could do.

My parents kept me working hard on my physical exercises which then got me interested in basketball. I am proud to say I started playing basketball in the 4th grade which took a lot of strength to be able to shoot a basketball but I never gave up. I am proud to say that my basketball coach handed me a varsity basketball uniform this year and I was so happy to play with my team and do warm ups with them before every game. I got to be one of the starting 5 my last game of regular season this year.

My dream came true I got my name announced as one of the starting five. My family was so proud of me for never giving up on my dreams and all my hard work growing up and keeping my muscles so strong. I learned growing up that nothing is impossible if you have strong faith, family and teachers that believe and support your dreams. I plan to attend college this fall and show others that having disability does not mean you have to give up on your dreams.

underdog scholarship

Underdog Scholarship Winners