For about two years members of the Mount Airy Rotary Club (North Carolina, US – District 7690) have been writing cheques on their birthdays, and four local graduates recently reaped the benefits of those donations.
According to Matt Edwards, a past president of the club, in 2015 he borrowed an idea from a fellow club in South Carolina where he was once a member.
On their birthdays, Rotarians are encouraged to write a cheque equal to the number of years they have been alive.
Edwards said those funds are set aside and used to provide scholarships to graduating seniors in Surry County.
In July, the club handed out its first set of scholarships using dollars collected in the 2015 Rotary year, which ran from July of 2015 to June of 2016.
“Any student in Surry County is eligible,” said Edwards.
“This year, we awarded scholarships to four Mount Airy High School graduates.”
Anna Ilyasova, who was valedictorian of this year’s graduating class at the high school, received a $1,000 scholarship, said Edwards.
Samantha Willard, Matthew Dowell and Sarah Lankford each were awarded $350 scholarships.
Though matters such as academics and financial need are considered, Edwards noted that the scholarships are “predicated primarily on service.”
“We want to award scholarships to graduates who are actively involved in making their communities a better place,” added Edwards.
Edwards said all four graduates who received the first round of scholarships are attending four-year universities.
The funds aren’t restricted for any certain use. Instead, the youngsters may use them in whatever manner they believe the funds are best used in the pursuit of the next phase of their education.
Though these four are all attending four-year schools, the funds may also be used to pay for community college, trade school or another form of education.
Edwards said a committee chose the four graduates after a formal application process, and many more area graduates will benefit from the programme in the future.
“The expectation is that this programme will be around for a while — hopefully for as long as our club is around,” explained Edwards.
Source: The Mount Airy News