Elaine Watkins, Dir. of the McCord Career Center at Healdsburg High School presented an overview of the scholarship program at the high school.
Elaine Watkins, Dir. of the McCord Career Center at Healdsburg High School presented an overview of the scholarship program at the high school.
Elaine currently is working three days a week at Healdsburg High School. She has done this for the past five years following a career as an English teacher, community college business instructor, and raising a family. She has an MBA but did not work in finance.
She is thankful that Healdsburg is such a generous community, and gave special thanks to our Club for the gifts we have provided the scholarship program over the past eight years of our existence. She is also thankful that her position is funded with money from the McCord trust, the Barnes Trust and some outside financial aid. Not being subjected to the vagaries of a school district budget, she has been able to devote time on a consistent basis to maintaining one of the best scholarship programs in Sonoma County.
The main source of funds for scholarships at Healdsburg High School by the proceeds from the McCord Trust. Charlie and Florence McCord loved music and thought very highly of the healthcare professionals in Healdsburg. Upon their death, they bequeathed their entire estate as a permanent endowment fund to provide scholarships primarily for students enrolling in healthcare and music courses of instruction. Last year, over $185,000 in scholarship stipends were awarded from this foundation. Many of the scholarships are renewable for as long as the recipient remains in school and follows the course of study for which the scholarship was awarded.
As a testament to the vibrancy of the scholarship program, over 71% of seniors applied for scholarships this year. 300 scholarships were given last year with a comparable number anticipated this year.
Students receiving scholarships need to provide proof of enrollment. Scholarship money is sent directly to the student who is responsible for spending it on education -related expenses, including but not limited to tuition and books. Living costs, transportation, meals, etc. are all allowed. By providing money directly to the students, it increases their chance of receiving additional financial aid that might be available from their learning institution.
Ms. Watkins is keenly aware of the need of middle income families for scholarship assistance, particularly since they are not eligible for Pell grants or Cal grants which combined can provide up to $13,000 of financial aid. In addition, students enrolled in the junior college can apply for the Board of Governors Fee Waiver. If granted, all scholarship money sent to the school on their behalf is awarded to them when they leave if it has not been spent in the course of their education. It may then be used at other institutions. The current cost of one year's education at California State University is approximately $25,000, at the University of California campuses it is about $34,000.
Numerous questions about various aspects of scholarships were answered following her presentation.