Western Colorado Atheists and Freethinkers (WCAF) have awarded a $4,325 college scholarship to Cidney Fisk, the newly-graduated Delta High School student who has been outspoken about what she believed to be Christian proselytizing in Delta County's public schools.
The scholarship is WCAF's largest to date. The group gave a $1,000 gift to the Mesa County Public Library Foundation in July 2013 to help with construction of the new downtown library, and in spring 2016 donated $100 to Delta Middle School to help with minor repairs in the girls' and boys' restrooms in the school's cafeteria.
Fisk was outspoken about the school bringing in Christian-based speaker Shelly Donahue, who gave an abstinence-only-before-marriage talk to students. This talk was nominally secular, but contained crucifixes in all the slides and Donahue told the students that having premarital sex "puts them further from God."
Fisk also served as student body treasurer at DHS and was critical of the school's lopsided expenditures on athletics at the expense of academics.
Cidney told her story in a local blog titled "What it's Like to be a Student With a Brain in the Delta County School District." The blog got over 17,000 views in less than 36 hours, from all over the world. As a result of widespread interest in Fisk's story, at the suggestion of a reader WCAF set up a scholarship fund to help Cidney go to college in Denver this fall, and donations poured in from all across the U.S. and four foreign countries. Some people even donated twice.
The scholarship funds will help Cidney pay for her college education. Cidney says she plans to major in political science and economics.
On Dec. 4 Delta County Commissioners Doug Atchley, Mark Roeber and Don Suppes denied the application of Paonia Holdings, LLC for a change of land use for the property at 41322 Highway 133, with an adjacent residence at 41402 Highway 133 and an ancillary property at 16180 Stevens Gulch Road.
The property is owned by Bowie Resources, LLC, and was formerly used as a coal load-out site.