Ensuring a brighter tomorrow with scholarships today
By: Brittany Conley
It is a season of change for high school seniors across the country. The comfort and familiarity of their school days are coming to a close in the next few months–but many are looking forward to starting their adventure with higher education in the fall. For parents, this is also an exciting time, though there might be some trepidation here and there as they contemplate a quieter household and the cost of tuition and books. But, at least regarding the latter, there is plenty of help to be found for the soon-to-be scholars and their parents. And one needn't even leave the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau to find it.
Blue Ridge School Education Foundation
The president of the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation, Carl Hyde, says investing in education today is important for tomorrow. "The Foundation has always believed that awarding scholarships is an incentive to make better grades and achieve good academic progress. We feel that if they go on to get postgraduate education, that they will come back and fulfill their careers in the community," says Hyde.
This year Blue Ridge School has 18 graduates and expects the majority to go on to some form of higher education. Students will need to submit their applications, essays and letters of recommendation to the school counselor by April 8, 2022, and they expect to contact recipients by May. Awards will be based on financial need, GPA and demonstrated leadership, among other criteria.
Glenville Masonic Lodge Scholarship in Honor of Jim Fayed
The Glenville Masonic Lodge is offering their first scholarship program this year in honor of Jim Fayed, a local resident who left a legacy and love for education and an entrepreneurial spirit. For 2022, the lodge has a total of $2,500 to award. This scholarship will be awarded to plateau-area graduates, including those who are homeschooled, who will attend a trade school. The awards will not be based on GPA but will be need-based and on how one plans to give back. John Murdock, master of the lodge, says he hopes the graduating class will do good for their community, and this scholarship is a great opportunity to increase the number of skilled tradespeople in the area. For more information or to obtain an application, please see your school's guidance counselor or contact the lodge. Applications must be submitted by April 8, 2022.
Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors
While the 2022 application deadline has passed for the scholarships offered by the Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors®, it is a great opportunity to keep in mind for future graduates. The HCBOR Scholarship Committee is comprised of volunteers, this year chaired by Andrea Gabbard. School guidance counselors work with the committee to identify students who would benefit from the scholarships. After an interview process, those who receive the scholarships are given four years to draw from the funds. "As higher education costs continue to rise, you need to explore every available resource," says Tom Roberson, association executive for the Highlands-Cashiers Board of Realtors.
Summit Charter School
This is the first year Summit Charter School will have a graduating class–and they could not be prouder of their 15 seniors! As of March, the Summit Charter School Foundation has raised $214,000 to distribute as scholarships to the Class of 2022.
In an overwhelming act of generosity, a donation by longtime friends of the Highlands-Cashiers Plateau, Linda and Mark Quick, the Summit Charter School Foundation will award $150,000 in scholarship funds under the Trailblazer Scholarship. This is a multi-year scholarship opportunity for Class of 2022 seniors that exemplifies Summit's three pillars of its "Portrait of a Graduate" – Academically Prepared, Engaged in Community, and Strong in Character. Successful candidates demonstrate excellence in each of these pillars, as reflected in their four-year holistic experience at Summit High.
There are three additional scholarship opportunities available to Summit's 2022 graduates through the Summit Charter School Foundation. First is the Summit STEM Scholarship, which will award $5,000 to a student interested in pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. Second is The Strong Family Fund Scholarship, a four-year, $10,000 per year scholarship made possible by Kathy and Stan Strong.
Lastly, the One Summit Family Scholarship will award every eligible graduating Summit Charter senior with $1,250, an immense blessing made possible by ten local benefactors. For full details about the eligibility requirements and application deadlines for Summit's scholarships, please contact Melissa Hudson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town of Highlands Scholarship
Since 1975, Highlands has been awarding scholarships to graduates of Highlands High School. Among other criteria, awards are based on grades, test scores, extracurricular activities and community involvement. Applications for the Town of Highlands Scholarship should be submitted by April 15. For more information, please visit www.highlandsnc.org.
United Methodist Church of Cashiers
Since 2003, the United Methodist Church of Cashiers has helped students pursue their educations with generous scholarships. Just like the Blue Ridge School Education Foundation, Carl Hyde heads the scholarship committee for the United Methodist Church. The committee considers many factors, including financial need, academic accomplishment and community involvement. Awards are a single payment but may roll over from semester to semester as long as the need exists, and the student remains in the same school. All graduates with a permanent residence on the plateau, including homeschooled students, are encouraged to apply. The deadline for applications is April 8, 2022.
These are only a few of the incredible, generous scholarship opportunities available in our area. There are many others, including the Church of The Good Shepherd, Friends of Lake Glenville, the Rotary Club of Cashiers Valley and more.
The last couple of years have been an education for us all, and if we've only learned one thing, it is the importance of community. We are undeniably stronger together, and there is no better testament to that than when we invest in our students. Everyone deserves the chance to shape their destiny. That is my hope for the graduating class of 2022: chase those dreams and use them to strengthen your communities. With the help of these amazing organizations and leaders, you can achieve amazing things.