Rotary scholarship money available for post-secondary students

Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary wants to help students in their third, fourth and fifth years

Submitted by Gerry Warner, Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club

Local post-secondary students entering the latter part of their university training have a chance for financial help this fall thanks to a scholarship program sponsored by the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club.

Four scholarships are being given out ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 to students entering their third, fourth or fifth year of studies. At least one of the awards will be given to a student in arts or the performing arts.

Students must have graduated from Mount Baker Secondary School or a local private school or home school. Criteria is based on academic merit at the post-secondary level, financial need and community service. Money for the scholarship program comes from various Rotary fundraising projects including the Rockies Film Festival, the annual Cranbrook Public Library used book sale and several others.

Sept. 1 is the deadline to apply for the scholarships and applications can be found on the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary webpage or Facebook page. Completed application forms are to be sent to: Scholarship Committee, Rotary Club of Cranbrook, Box 765, Cranbrook, B.C. V1C 4J5 or email them to Scholarship winners will be notified by mid-September.

The program has been in place since 1998 and has helped many local students over the years, says Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary member Alex McLeod. “It’s basically local funds raised by Rotary members going back to teach kids.” And there’s a reason why the money is directed at third, fourth and fifth year students, McLeod says.

“There’s a lot more money out there for kids in first and second year. But when they go farther in their studies it starts to get lean so we decided to give them this last financial kick to help them make it through.”

Last year some 40 local students applied to the program and this year there’s likely to be a similar number, says McLeod. “I think there will definitely be enough to make the selection process a challenge.”

Grades, financial need and volunteerism will all be given equal weight in the selection process, he says. The Rotary movement itself is based on volunteerism and that’s why community service is one of the “intangibles” in the selection process, McLeod adds.

“Rotary is all about giving back to people, and in this case, rewarding kids for the hard work they’ve done.”