Chair, Scholarship Committee
March 1, 2019
Jim Thibodeau has been chair of the Scholarship Committee for fifteen years. Each year the club awards four two thousand dollar scholarships to high school students in Bennington. This has long been a Rotary practice.
Previously, the funds for the scholarship came from the Car Show. Since then, The Italian Dinner and the Tag Sale are sources for the money.
The scholarship committee usually consists of four to seven people who meet once a year to review the applications. Some of them have been doing this for many years. Jim sends the applications to the school Guidance Office in March. The committee reviews the applications looking ar four areas, service, grades, need and narrative.
Jim indicates whether the student belongs to Interact. It is not a requirement to be an Interact student, but it is useful information.
After each committee member grades each area on a scale of one to five, with five the highest, the committee discusses the evaluations and chooses the four students with the highest scores.
One of them is designated a Sal Sarcantangelo award in honor of Sal who was a founder of the Interact Club and who worked tirelessly for the students.
On Senor Awards night, the students receive a certificate saying they have received a scholarship.. The money goes directly to the students. They receive the first check after the awards night and the second before their second semester. In this way the Rotary Club members can learn something about the students.
Rotary provides these awards because we are educating the future leaders of our country who understand the importance of service. Jim made the point that it is uplifting to see the quality of the students that we are graduating in Bennington. The caliber of these young people is truly inspiring.
Author: Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)
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