Local Dollars for Scholars awards $30,000 to select graduates
WORTHINGTON — Twenty-seven members of the Worthington High School (WHS) Class of 2018 received a total of $30,000 in scholarships from the Worthington Chapter of Dollars for Scholars at a May 16 ceremony.
The 2018 awards bring the aggregate funds distributed to local graduates since 1988 to more than $560,000.
“As an organization and community, we believe in you and we believe in the path that you want to take,” said Adam Johnson, president of the Worthington chapter.
“We are doing our best to support that, knowing the opportunity offered by a college education is immense and lasts forever. To quote B.B. King, ‘The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.’”
Although Johnson and the other 12 Dollars for Scholars board members recognize that the scholarships they’re able to provide may be a drop in the bucket when considering the full cost of a student’s post-secondary education, they nevertheless hope the awards will serve as an encouragement to students — and the board was able to increase the basic scholarship amount to $1,000 this year.
“Our goal was to provide a more significant financial benefit, yet still recognize and serve as many students as possible,” said Johnson.
Two students — Max Langerud and Claire Ludes — received higher awards of $1,250 each, with the same amount renewable the following year depending on their successful college performance.
Langerud, who plans to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, was the recipient of the Louise Mowrey Memorial Endowed Scholarship, while Ludes, who is heading to Nebraska’s Creighton University, received the Georgia M. Entenza Endowed Scholarship.
Said Johnson, “Creating an endowed scholarship is a wonderful way to remember a loved one and give the gift of education to future generations of local students.”
Chapter vice president John Standafer emphasized that healthy donations from individuals and businesses within the community, as well as endowed scholarships such as those mentioned above, are what sustain and enlarge the Worthington Dollars for Scholars awards fund for qualifying students.
“Our higher awards are due to fundraising success, and we are grateful to all donors,” said Standafer.
Successful Dollars for Scholars recipients must first complete an online application, due in March of each year. Applicants are rated anonymously, using a point system that considers students’ grade point averages, ACT scores, a teacher or counselor evaluation and students’ personal information, including consideration of their school activities, leadership involvement, employment and two short essays.
“When the board meets to award the scholarships, all we see is a list of application ID numbers, the scores from each of those areas and a total score,” confirmed Johnson.
A portion of the WHS orchestra, directed by Melanie Loy, entertained prior to the awards ceremony, and a guest speaker — 2005 WHS alumnus Dr. Josh Schroeder — offered words of advice to the imminent graduates.
“A group of individuals and businesses has a gift for each of you,” said Schroeder, owner of Bridges Chiropractic in Sioux Falls, S.D., and president of the Sioux Empire Chiropractic Society.
“Really, it’s an investment with no strings attached because we believe in you, and we hope you’ll take this money and put it to good use.”
Schroeder and his wife, Erin (Schlichte) Schroeder, also a WHS ’05 graduate, have four children, including six-week-old twins. He emphasized to the 2018 Dollars for Scholars recipients that their futures are in their own hands.
“Set your expectations high,” he said, recalling that he set aspirational goals for himself while working as a teenager at the former Plaza 66 gas station.
“Know who you are and improve yourself — not just for selfish reasons, but for the good of humanity.”
Johnson expressed gratitude to all the donors who make possible the ongoing efforts of the Worthington Dollars for Scholars chapter, including businesses that give dollars for football/basketball points scored and those who sponsor or contribute to the Dollars for Scholars annual golf tournament — an important fundraiser for the organization.
“Our donors play a major role in the amount and number of scholarships that can be awarded in a given year,” explained Johnson.
Summarized Schroeder, “This is an investment in your education and your future. Remember your friends, families and hometown, and let your light shine bright.”
The 21st annual Worthington Dollars for Scholars four-person scramble golf tournament is scheduled for June 18 at GreatLIFE Malaska Golf Course, Worthington. To register, call Dick Schlichte at 360-4177 or John Standafer at 329-5499. Donations for Dollars for Scholars may be mailed to Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 73, Worthington 56187. Visit Worthington.dollarsforscholars.org for applications and other detailed chapter information.