At the annual Union High School Scholarship Program, held Tuesday, May 15, at 7:00 p.m. in the high school theater, dozens of soon-to-be graduates were showered with money to use for their post-secondary educational endeavors. The program honored all graduating seniors who have been awarded scholarships from local organizations, families, colleges and universities, and other entities, but the evening marked a special milestone for the Union R-XI Foundation and its mission of helping Union students continue their schooling beyond high school.
For the first time in its 33 year history, the Foundation’s annual contribution totalled over $50,000 in scholarship money to graduates! In all, 68 separate gifts were awarded in Foundation funds to 45 different college-bound seniors. According to Foundation president and retired Central Elementary Kindergarten teacher, Nancy Schroeder, “It is a thrill to know we are able to help that many kids further their educational goals with that amount of money. The hard work we do all year really does pay off on nights like this.”
Schroeder credits Foundation board member and Scholarship Committee chairperson, Jane Ridder, for doing the massive amount of prep work needed to pull off the Foundation’s portion of scholarship night each year. Ridder, another retired Central Elementary teacher like Schroeder, coordinates the application review process with the high school counseling department, prepares and manages the two dozen or so presenters at the awards ceremony, and even presents a scholarship to a deserving graduate that she and her husband, Carl, have established.
A final word on achieving Foundation goals from president Schroeder: “Helping students and their families defray the increasing costs of getting a high quality college education has been a goal of the R-XI Foundation since it was formed. And it takes the efforts of an awful lot of dedicated people to pull it off each year. I hope that anyone just now hearing about the Foundation and its work will be inspired to contact us to let us know how they think they might be able to help out.”
The Foundation is proud to have assisted hundreds of Union graduates over the past three decades. Total scholarship funds disbursed during that time is well over half a million dollars!
A huge debt of gratitude is due the volunteers and donors who have helped the R-XI Foundation become such a positive force in these students’ lives. And for anyone who is new to the incredible good that the Foundation does, please visit the Scholarship Program and How YOU Can Help pages on this site for a complete list of established scholarship funds, this year’s recipients, and more information about how you can be a part of the Union R-XI Foundation’s future success story.