Scholarship … Fall 2016

As the committee read the applications it was evident that we have ten very special young ladies who have selected some varied and interesting majors: Communications, Nursing, Child and Family Studies, occupational Therapy, Biology, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Inclusive Childhood Education, Medical Technology and Diagnostic Medical Sonography. They are attending Christian Colleges, State Colleges, and Universities not only in New York but also Ohio, Pennsylvania and California.

Finding time for the committee to meet was a major problem this year. Our members were traveling out of state most of the summer because of family illnesses and commitments, so I finally asked them to send their comments and the rating guide for each applicant to me. I then contacted Colleen Charsky, ABWM of NYS Treasurer, and we met for the better part of a day. We combined everyone’s input and made a final decision on the amount of the awards for each applicant.

The awards ranged from $320.00-$560.00 reaching a total of $4,390.00. That same day I selected Associations for each applicant, and because I had previously addressed envelopes to each girl, I was able to mail the letter and Pen Sketch to their home address the very next morning. They had approximately a month to get the Pen Sketch back to me. But, as I have said in previous years, unless the girls live at home and commute they do not get their college residence address until they get there. So the pen sketches often did not arrive to me until after September. I then mailed it to each Association Counterpart who is in charge of sending it on to the local churches. This year it did seem to take longer than usual, so I sent email reminders, calls and texts.

Believe me I was as frustrated as some of you who wanted to the information for church pamphlets and meetings. My only suggestion is that maybe you could plan the Fall Association meetings a little later in September or maybe early October. (Or leave spaces in the booklets where addresses can be added after they are received.) It might lessen the frustration for us both.

There may always be times of frustration in this process but there are also definitely positives in being a member of the scholarship committee. We are continually amazed at the level of faith these young women possess and how well they are able to express it.

One applicant wrote that she was dyslexic as a child and needed private tutoring for several years. I quote: “Dyslexia is an issue you cannot get rid of, you either let it bring you down, or you work with it. I kept remembering with God all things are possible.” In 11th grade she was selected as a member of the National Honor Society. She has chosen a career in Biology… She has worked with it!

Another applicant had to experience a difficult and crushing family situation but her faith gave her the courage to follow her desire to help others. She has done summer missionary work for the past two summers and her chosen path is to be a Medical Missionary.

The best positive for me, personally, was that as I reminded each of the girls to send me their Pen Sketch I had the opportunity to have a conversation with each of them, to have the chance to wish each one a successful year and to say that we as American Baptist Women would be praying for the Lord to bless them in many ways throughout the year.


applications for the 2017 year have to be in by June 1st.  Please download the updated application here and pass it along to the young ladies you know!

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