by TaLeiza Calloway
Twenty-five area students will receive scholarships from the St. Joseph Area Dollars for Scholars program this year, an increase of four students from last year. The annual awards ceremony to recognize their achievement is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 15 at the St. Joseph Fire Hall.
Recipients this year hail from area high schools that include Holdingford, Cathedral and Apollo in St. Cloud and St. Cloud Technical High School. One of the recipients is home-schooled. Mike Hazen, president of the St. Joseph chapter of Dollars for Scholars, said the students are well-deserving. Some of them volunteered in a phone-a-thon to help garner additional scholarships. Their work paid off as their efforts helped award at least an additional four scholarships. The phone-a-thon raised about $1,130, Hazen said, due to overwhelming community support.
“We want the students to know they’re cared about,” Hazen said of the program’s purpose. “Students do very well.”
Each student will receive a $250 scholarship. More than half of them are new graduates with the remainder of the students already involved in post-secondary work.
The Dollars for Scholars program has awarded more than 500 scholarships since its inception about 18 years ago. This year marks the 19th year for the program. Hazen, a St. Joseph resident, said he is impressed by the candidates who apply every year.
Hazen said the organization has about $20,000 in an endowment fund and has awarded more than $127,000 in scholarships to date. Local businesses from St. Joseph and surrounding areas donate throughout the year to make the event happen. This year there were about 20 local businesses who served as sponsors for scholarships. Hazen said he is grateful for their support.
The St. Joseph Community Fire Hall is located at 323 Fourth Ave. NE.