Thursday, June 15, 2017

First Trailblazer and College Scholarships Awarded!

SCHOLARSHIP:  A sum of money or other aid granted to a student because of merit, need, etc.

     Three Laraway youth are graduating from high school and continuing their studies.  One will attend college in Vermont.  One will attend college in New York City.  One will attend a technical training program at a college in New Hampshire.  Each has received a $500 scholarship to aid with college expenses.
     Scholarships are like "Pennies from Heaven" for students trying to figure out how to pay for college.  The rising cost of education can impede a young person's view of whether or not continuing their educations is even a possibility.  Youth at Laraway, many of whom lack traditional family supports, may be the first in their family to pursue a degree...a great opportunity and a great challenge!  Stick-with-it-ness counts for much on this journey.
     It was just over a year ago that Fr. Rick Swanson and Tim Heath-Swanson approached Laraway about creating a scholarship fund by hiking the Long Trail and asking friends, family and community members to make financial gifts.  Through their efforts---and l-o-n-g walk on the trail---they met and exceeded their $10,000 goal, creating the Trailblazer Scholarship for Laraway Youth pursuing education in the trades and/or IT fields.
     The Trailblazers inspired an effort to create another scholarship for Laraway youths attending college.  Jake Swanson, award-winning owner of Art of the Carve, donated one of his wood carvings which was raffled off, raising $1,000.
     These funds were not easy to raise.  Board members, staff members and many community friends chipped in.  Members of St. John's in the Mountains Episcopal Church and the 2nd Congregational Church of Hyde Park also stepped up to support the scholarships.  Laraway's directors, teachers and administrative support staff bought tickets and made outright donations to help us realize our fundraising goals.
     And now, we have three students leaving Laraway to pursue their educations, with scholarships and warm wishes for their continued studies.
     Thank you to EVERYONE who supported the creation of these scholarships!