NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

April 11, 2013

Scholarship selection process begins

WEST NEWBURY — The arrival of spring elicits thoughts of annual high school rituals: college decisions, prom, final exams, graduation. And for the Pentucket Regional Scholarship Foundation the focus is on graduation day, when they will award scholarships to a number of college-bound students.

“We are looking forward to a good season. The major fundraising is over for the year and now we move on to the fun part — awarding scholarships to the deserving students,” said foundation chairman Sally Cookman in a press release.

The scholarship interview process takes place this month, with decisions rendered from the awards committee in early May. The volunteers on the Awards Committee review all applications and interview students before making their recommendations.

Cookman says “great effort” is taken to match students to the over 70 named scholarships established through the years. “This year we will add a new scholarship in memory of Emma Journeay, a little girl from Merrimac who tragically died last summer from cancer,” she said.

The scholarship foundation operates through the efforts of numerous volunteers who work on fundraising, organization, processing applications and serving on the Awards Committee.

For years Groveland residents, John and Mary Ellen Ramsey, have sent, received and processed the applications. “They have it so well organized it looks easy, but I took on their job twice and I can assure you, it is not easy,” said Cookman.

Audrey Tarr, a Merrimac resident whom Cookman describes as logging “many hours organizing the interview and selection process, copying the applications for the committee and summarizing and reporting the awards,” chairs this year’s Awards Committee.

But Cookman says that ultimately the scholarship program relies on “the tremendous support of the Pentucket community” with donations made by local families and businesses as well as family and friends of the 70 named scholarships.

“Those scholarships have helped thousands of our children realize their dreams of a college education over the 50 years of the foundation’s history and for that we are eternally grateful,” said Cookman.

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