More than $500,000 in scholarships are available for area students through the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore. The Foundation, which holds more than 130 scholarships funds, has recently opened applications on their website, with many of the scholarships having an April 1, 2018 deadline.
In the 2017 fiscal year, the Community Foundation awarded scholarships to 320 students totaling $510,000. The Foundation has steadily increased scholarships each year, growing awards by $210,000 in just the past four years.
“With the rising cost of education, scholarship funds are more important than ever to area students,” says Donor Relations Officer Heather Trader. “We believe education is the key to a brighter future for students on the Lower Eastern Shore.”
Trader explains that the foundation offers a wide variety of scholarships, each with their own unique criteria.
“Scholarship funds at CFES are a valuable resource for people who want to help local students. They are created by individuals, families, or businesses that are passionate about encouraging an area of study, memorializing a loved one, or simply extending a helping hand, so there is a little something for everyone.”
Some scholarships are based on the student’s perspective area of study, like The Richard and Patricia Hazel Minority Scholarship which is for students who are interested in pursuing a career in education, STEM, or nursing. However, not every scholarship is for graduating seniors or four-year college students.
“For instance, the Naleppa Family Healthcare Scholarship focuses on students who have already been accepted into a healthcare education program, such as a two-year nursing program, whereas the Beattie Healthcare Careers Scholarship is for students who have already begun their undergraduate study in a healthcare field,” says Trader.
The Foundation also sees many organizations and businesses creating scholarships. One of the Foundation’s newest funds includes the Ocean City Parrot Head – Linda and Don Risso Scholarship, which was established with a gift of $42,868 from the Ocean City Parrot Heads, and benefits students graduating from a Worcester County public high school. In 2017, The Allen Harim Legacy Scholarship was created by the company for children of employees and contract growers wanting to attend college or trade schools.
“It is exciting to watch area students turn their dreams into a reality with the assistance of our scholarships,” Trader says. “There is no question that the Lower Eastern Shore is made a better place by community members who are investing in our future leaders.”