Time remains to create scholarship

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — As busy as Karen McLean is these days, she insists it’s not too late. There is plenty of time, McLean said, for a local business or civic organization to create a new scholarship and help a graduating senior at Richmond Senior High School.

McLean is the secretary for the school’s Career Information Center. Each week, she produces and distributes a newsletter with the latest information on opportunities for young people. She’d love more information for her newsletter.

“It is not too late,” McLean said.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Matthew Rizzolo, a senior member of the RSHS Jazz Band, looks over a list of available college scholarships inside the Career Information Center.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Matthew Rizzolo, a senior member of the RSHS Jazz Band, looks over a list of available college scholarships inside the Career Information Center.

Generally, a scholarship application includes a cover sheet and a rundown of items required for the student to include, such as transcripts, letters of recommendation, copies of college acceptance letters and more.

Scholarships with a value of $500 or more are recognized at the annual Academic Awards Banquet. This year, that begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 21 in the school cafeteria.

“As long as you let me know by the first week of May,” McLean said. “May 3rd, 4th, 5th at the latest, that’s when I start typing the actual program. I have a good couple more weeks to advertise them. As long as I can get word out to the kids and get applications filled out …”

The May 21 program will recognize hundreds of students who have been awarded nearly $1 million, which includes scholarships from colleges and universities as well as private foundations, civic groups and businesses.

Or it can be a small committee of friends or family members. That’s what Sandy Searcy had in mind when creating the John B. Searcy Memorial Scholarship. Searcy died unexpectedly in October 2014 and through this scholarship, his wife hopes to maintain her husband’s legacy of community giving.

The John B. Searcy Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a graduating high school student who has chosen to continue their education in the criminal justice field at Richmond Community College. Students will submit scholarship applications to McLean, who will give them to Sandy Searcy. She and select members of a committee she established will choose the recipient, likely a student pursuing criminal justice at Richmond Community College.

Searcy plans to be there on May 21 to present the scholarship, along with other family members.

“It’s a special honor, that first time,” McLean said.

Scholarship eligibility can be was general or specific as the creator wants, McLean said. Some choose specifically to target students with a class rank between 26th and 50th under the assumption that only the top students receive scholarships.

McLean noted that if the school has a 12-member scholarship committee that can help make that determination — either by weighing in, she said, or by making the decision completely. It’s all up to the individual or group creating the scholarship.

Though churches and other groups offer students scholarships valued at less than $500, McLean said the line had to be drawn somewhere.

“That’s an honor,” she said, to receive such an award “but we can’t recognize every single scholarship. After three hours of sitting on the little round stools down there, you’re ready to go.”

The academic banquet also honors the top 40 seniors and top 30 juniors, based on grade point average.

For more information on creating a scholarship, contact McLean at 910-997-9812 ext. 2036 or send an email.

 

 

Filed in: Business, Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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