Each year, the Community Foundation presents hundreds of postsecondary scholarships to deserving students who are working toward degrees or certifications and training that will provide the skills necessary to be productive, successful adults.

Inside the office, the staff refers to this time of year as “scholarship season” as they manage the complex application process, work with donors, and nearly 100 volunteers who serve on the scholarship committee to review and make the award decisions.

We’ve just completed the scholarship season for the 2019-2020 academic year, and we’re pleased to announce that 314 students have received one or more scholarships to help them with tuition and related school expenses.

The Community Foundation is one of the largest providers of scholarships in the area. Over our 32-year history, millions of dollars have supported Frederick County students. It’s fun to watch these students progress through their college years. We’ve seen students become doctors, nurses, and enter many areas of health care. We’ve helped create engineers, veterinarians, scientists, elementary, middle, and high school teachers, social workers, agri-business and farming specialists, accountants, psychologists, professional musicians and artists, and more.

Our scholarship application software tracks areas of study, and we love seeing this information each year. For example, this year, 77 students are enrolled to study in health-related fields, followed by 64 students studying in STEM fields. Fifty will study education, 40 will be liberal arts majors, and 36 are pursuing business studies. In recent years, we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of students going into STEM and health care fields. Other areas of study include agriculture and communications.

There’s another component each year of the scholarship season, and this is new scholarship funds that provide awards for the first time. When a donor creates a scholarship fund, whether it’s in memory or honor of a loved one or to support a specific profession, the first award is always special, and the meeting between the scholarship recipient and the donor is often emotional for both. It’s an honor for us to be part of this.

This year’s first-time funds include the Barry and Kathleen Lucey Scholarship Fund, for students studying agriculture; the Carolyn McGolerick Memorial Scholarship Fund, for students studying library science; the Beatrice R. Snyder Scholarship Fund, for those pursuing careers in education or music; and the Honorable Mary Ann Stepler Memorial Fund, supporting undergraduate study in law, music, or the arts.

All 298 students have much to be proud of and bright futures ahead. We wish them all the best. To the donors who make scholarship funds possible, thank you. It is your belief in the value of education that has expanded opportunities for thousands of students in Frederick County.

Are you a former Community Foundation scholarship recipient who has graduated and now working in your field? If so, we’d love to hear your success story. We might even include you in a newsletter or annual report. Email marketing@FrederickCountyGives.org and tell us how you are doing.

(2) comments

Snyder

I think it is amazing how much money is available and is given to help with student success; however, for transparency, how many applied for scholarships as 314 were approved? I ask because I've watch two of my three kids apply and invest a lot of time in writing thoughtful essays and not receive anything. I'm not whining! I'm just curious how many apply and if it really shouldn't be a primary focus for all students when determining how much time to spend on the hundreds of scholarship opportunities that are available.

eyday

Thanks for your kind words about the Community Foundation's scholarship program made possible by generous donors in the Frederick County area. Each year, more than 1200 applications are received. All students are encouraged to apply if they are attending two- or four-year colleges, graduate programs and trade and technical schools. Students tell us the application takes about 45 minutes to complete and is easy to use with our online system and some required info coming from applications the students already have to submit for other academic purposes. Each scholarship is read by a team of volunteers and each application is compared to those who also meet the criteria for that particular scholarship.

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