Seniors supporting young seniors!

February 20, 2022

A Jan. 25 commentary by Dan Shortridge in the Cape Gazette, titled “Eight ways to lift up grads who aren’t going to college,” caught my attention for many reasons.

As a teacher in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, I witnessed many students who had no desire to further their education at a four-year institution, and they felt left out or even made to feel less than important than their classmates. When my own classmates began to search for more prominent schools than the one I could afford, I felt their snobbery.

Shortridge’s article included a comprehensive list of what our leaders and legislators can do to sponsor local scholarships. One of those items includes rewriting the eligibility terms of local scholarships to include those who want to attend trade schools, or pursue certifications or licenses.

Delaware Technical Community College has expanded its Student Excellence Equals Degree scholarship. While the original SEED scholarship program was available only to recent high school graduates, the expansion, SEED+, opens this tuition-free option to Delawareans of all ages. The expanded scholarship will remove the age restriction for applicants, expand eligibility to 10 semesters, and allow students to attend classes part time after their first semester.

The Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice is presently accepting applications for the 2022 Charlotte King Scholarship Program. Several $1,000 scholarships will be awarded to Sussex County graduating seniors from the Class of 2022 who identify as Black and/or African American. The essential criterion is a demonstrated concern for furthering racial understanding and justice. The deadline for submitting an application is April 3.

In my search for scholarships for trade schools, I found an enormous list on the website, such as the National Association of Women in Construction Founders’ Scholarship Foundation for community college, technical school or equivalent. NAWIC is a professional association comprising women working in construction and related industries. It was established in 1955 by 16 founding members. Today, more than 5,000 women in approximately 170 chapters across the United States are NAWIC members. Chapter 96 is in Wilmington.

Last Saturday, my American Association of University Women friends and many mourners attended the funeral of Jeffrey Michael Borrin, the son of Carl and AAUW member Sheri Borrin. Jeff’s family and co-workers spoke about his commitment to becoming the best electrician he could be and how much he helped others realize their vocational dreams. Donations for a scholarship are being accepted in Jeff’s name and should be sent to Ellie Flanzraich at 11 Haworth Court, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971. The awardee must attend a vocational school at an accredited two- or four-year institution.

According to an NBC news article by Alanna Quillen, July 15, 2021, “A recent survey of 1,000 recent and impending U.S. college graduates by employment site Monster shows about 45% of 2020 grads are still looking for a job.” Our society needs more tradesmen and -women.

I knew I wanted to be a teacher at age 5. At the end of my first year of college at Frostburg State, my parents said they couldn’t afford to pay for my continuing education. Devastated, I wrote a letter to my state senator asking for financial assistance. I also applied to become a resident assistant, which paid room and board. Without this senatorial scholarship and the resident assistant job, I would not have been able to obtain a college degree and never would have fulfilled my dream of becoming a teacher.

If you are wondering how you can help the students in our community find the path to their chosen career, consider donating to support a local scholarship in Delaware.


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