Scholarship Opportunities Exist For Graduating Seniors
Everyone needs money for college, so each spring graduating seniors at Lawrence High School and Free State High School are encouraged to apply for a large number of available scholarships to help defray the cost of college. Many of those opportunities come courtesy of donors to the Lawrence Schools Foundation and typically 65-70 scholarships totaling more than $70,000 in aid are made available through the Foundation.
On January 19 both high schools make the applications available to students, who must submit completed applications for their desired scholarships to their counselors by February 19. Selection processes vary by scholarship with some donors selecting their recipients and others having the Foundation scholarship committee review the applications.
As a senior at Free State High School Cassie Post was selected for the Travis Glass Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a student who plans to major in business at the University of Kansas. Post, who earned a master’s degree in accounting from KU, is currently a CPA and senior tax accountant at Mize Houser and Company P.A. in Lawrence.
“Receiving the Travis Glass Memorial Scholarship was an honor,” Post said. “When community members provide scholarships to graduating seniors, it shows that the community members have faith in the students and want to see them succeed.”
The scholarships managed by the Foundation range from $500 to a $5,000 four-year renewable scholarship. Criteria for each scholarship varies and could be for anything ranging from those planning on entering the nursing or science fields to those who have lived in foster care or who are considered at risk students.
Most scholarships are established in memory of a loved one, like the Brian Shirk Memorial Scholarship which was established by Brian’s parents after his fatal car accident.
“My biggest thing was that I hoped the scholarship money would get the recipient started,” said David Shirk, Brian’s father. “It gave them a little something to start with and it showed that people care about them.”
Spencer Chestnut received the Brian Shirk Scholarship in 2010 and established his own scholarship in 2016.
“Receiving the Brian Shirk Memorial Scholarship showed me that serving your community is a personal commitment,” he said. “It is not just a task for other people or institutions, it is our personal responsibility to support our neighbors. My scholarship is just my small contribution to a community that has made an enormous contribution to my life and it is my small way to empower the next generation of students.”