Ball State University is providing four fully-paid scholarships for the children of Andy and Heather Cowan-Brown – the family being featured on the "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" episode filmed in Bunker Hill, Ind. Oct. 21-28.
Andy and Heather are factory workers who have struggled to raise their four children. The children – Ryan, Trevor, Kori, and Mason – are 16, 13, 12 and 8, respectively, said Tony Proudfoot, associate vice president for University Marketing and Communications.
Kori, who is battling a congenital blood disease, raised $35,000 for the American Cancer Society after being inspired by a friend she shared a hospital room with. She raised the money while confined to the upper floor of her family's home because of environmental hazards such as mold infestation, University Marketing and Communications announced.
Proudfoot said they awarded the children scholarships because they exemplify the attributes Ball State wants in its students.
"The Cowan family is a story about hard work, determination and making a difference in your world," Proudfoot said. "Kori's story is also very inspiring. Those are the values and characteristics we look for in our students."
Proudfoot said he announced the university's offer to the Cowan-Brown family Tuesday on behalf of President Jo Ann Gora.
The scholarships will work through the Ball State Foundation to provide four-year financial support for the full cost of the children's tuition if they apply and are admitted to Ball State, University Communications announced.
Gora also released a statement through the University Communications.
"The ‘Extreme Makeover' team worked hard to provide the family with a wonderful, new environment," Gora said. "The changes they have made to their home will benefit the entire family for many years to come. It is my hope that seeing this transformation will inspire all of the children to work hard toward their goal of attending college."
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" builds large, new houses for families across the country with inspirational stories. The chosen family is sent off on vacation for seven days as volunteers help to tear down the family's old house and build a new home in the same location.
New episodes of the program airs on ABC. The episode filmed in Bunker Hill, Ind., is expected to air in January.