Tuesday, July 23, 2013

High School Scholarship - 2013

This was our fifth year of giving a scholarship to a graduating senior at our high school alma mater.  Brandon and I met and fell in love in high school and it was such a huge part of our life growing up both separately and together.  We want to remain connected to it and decided that the best way we thought we could do that was to offer a scholarship in our name each year at the senior banquet in May.

This year, Brandon was unable to come to the senior banquet - so I brought my Dad in his place.  It actually works perfectly as my Dad is also a CV alum (as are my mom, and both of Brandon's parents too!)  

The banquet was lovely with good food and it was inspiring to hear how the seniors have succeeded and their accomplishments throughout their careers at Valley.  When it was time for our award - I gave a speech about how much we appreciate getting a chance to peer into the lives of young people from our community.  And how inspiring it is, now with kids, to know their are young people making positive contributions everyday.

We chose two recipients this year for our Studer Scholarship.  Each student had completed our essay describing how they have positively influenced the people around them while they were a student at Valley and also included their extracurricular activites and plans for after graduation.

All of essays that were submitted were amazing (we had over 15 students write in this year), but in the end - we selected Xavier Butts and Emily Bevan to receive our scholarship award.  Each scholarship winner received a note & a check for $250 as well as a plaque with our scholarship name on it (provided by the school).

This has always been one of our favorite months of kindness.  It is really amazing to stay connected to the students and staff at our former high school.  One of my favorite moments every banquet has been when the mothers of our winners weave their way through the crowds at the end of the night to personally thank us.  It is really a powerful moment and fills my heart with joy to see the pride and gratitude in another mother's eyes.  I honestly love our May Kindness and you can too - see below for our quick 6 step How To!


How to set up a scholarship with your local high school:

1. contact the school's guidance counselor and let him/her know that you would be interested in starting a scholarship in your/someone else's name.  For example, if your momma loves her some smart kids - starting a scholarship in honor of your mom is a great gift...and one you can re-do every year!

2. Decide what the criteria will be for winning your scholarship.  We chose for student's to complete an essay about their positive influence because we love kindness.  But you could make the criteria be anything you want....like the kid needs to have played the sport you played when you were in HS and be going to college for the same major you had...for example:)  The HS guidance counselor will be able to help provide students' extracurricular activities, GPAs, and/or any other important information.  

3. Decide how much you're willing to scholarship and then figure out how you'll afford it.  Do you remember when you were going to college and how another $100 bucks would have been awesome.  It is easy to save up the money when you budget it into your year.  Just a few meals at home instead of out - or putting away a little each month can make a big difference. 

4. Be prepared to make some decisions, because you won't believe how hard it will be to pick just one student

5. Be proud - you are helping someone get an education, and that is a pretty awesome thing to do.

6. Let your tax attorney know that you awarded a scholarship and back it up with a letter from the school.  hello tax refund.

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