NATCHITOCHES – A Natchitoches entrepreneur’s combined interest in fitness and computers inspired him to create four scholarships for Northwestern State University students who are motivated to earn a degree but face financial hurtles. Brian Hicks, owner of Prep Fitness LA, created an endowed scholarship fund through the NSU Foundation that will help two students majoring in health and exercise science and two students majoring in computer information systems. Two of the four scholarships will be awarded to out-of-state students.
“It is with great pleasure that we announce the Prep Fitness Endowed Scholarship fund,” said NSU Development Officer Kimberly Gallow. “Not only is Brian now a member of the Columns Fund, but he is now working towards financially supporting four students at Northwestern to assist with the cost of attending our great institution. We truly appreciate him for this.”
The scholarships will be awarded to sophomore, junior or senior students who maintain a 3.0 or better grade point average and complete a project for Prep Fitness. Hicks said he hopes that opening criteria to out-of-state students will serve as a recruiting tool for the university.
Hicks is a 2000 graduate of Natchitoches Central High School where he was a stand-out athlete. After high school, he was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers and spent four years with the team. He was then offered a scholarship to play football at Arkansas State University. Since his contract with the Brewers contained provisions for college tuition, he arranged for his football scholarship to be awarded to another player.
“I’ve had many opportunities,” said Hicks, who launched Prep Fitness, a personal trainer service at Basic Health and Fitness, in 2011. He works with online clients, has an out-of-state clientele, leads fitness boot camps and creates health and wellness program plans. He has also traveled extensively and has a 6-year-old daughter who is a gymnast. Hicks, also a public speaker and tutor, said he has a strong desire to help people achieve their goals and provides positive motivation along the way.
“I’ve always been a giver. I like to help people. I’m a result-driven person and I like to impact people,” he said. He chose to support health and exercise science and computer information systems programs because the two disciplines intersect in his work.
“I have a passion for both. Math is my favorite subject and computer information systems is what I went to school for. I taught myself to use a computer at age 11. Computer technology is my second passion. I’ve been an athlete all my life and fitness is becoming a tech-heavy industry,” he said, as more and more people use customizable apps to closely and more accurately monitor many aspects of their health and physiology.
Hicks said the ideal scholarship recipients are those who are passionate and, like him, results-driven.
“I’d like to have a passionate student who is really living through their education and applying themselves,” he said. “My goal is to try to impact those who have the vision but don’t know where to start.”
Information on supporting scholarships for Northwestern State students is available at northwesternalumni.com. Information on Prep Fitness is available by emailing email@example.com. Information on NSU’s CIS program is available at nsula.edu/computer-information-systems. Information on NSU’s health and human performance degree programs is available at hhp.nsula.edu.