Alumni Scholarships for many students

Sung Zathang, Reporter

With many varieties of scholarships being given to SHS students, the Alumni Scholarships have been given out the most. There were 66 scholarships given out this year with a total amount of $64,000. The scholarships range from  different graduating classes to memorial scholarships, which were given out in the names of people who passed away.

According to Julie Fierce, the school’s guidance director, the Alumni Scholarships were something that were set up by the school’s alumni association. Anyone who graduates from SHS can be a part of the alumni association, says Fierce.

The alumni association tries to raise funds so that they can give money to the SHS students as scholarships at the end of the school year. Fierce says that these scholarships are not just one big scholarship given out to a certain student.

“Within the alumni association, they start a host of a whole list of scholarships,” Fierce said. “The scholarships come from all kinds of people like the class of 1944. All of the students that graduated in 1944 give the association money so that every year they can give out at least $500. Sometimes it’s $1,000, and sometimes it’s $1,500, but the goal is to always give $500.”

The annual amount of scholarships they give out is not really known since they could give out more scholarships this year but less the next year, but it usually stays pretty consistent, according to Fierce. Sometimes more people give, but sometimes maybe somebody kind of falls off. Typically, it is around the number given this year.

Out of the 66 students who received the Alumni Scholarship, senior Seng Zanhkung received a scholarship from the class of 1954. She was one of six Burmese students who received an alumni scholarship. These are the list of students who also received an alumni scholarship: Lian Sang, Tial Par, Nu Hing, Peter Lian, Bawi Sang and Lal Awm. Zanhkung says that she is really happy and grateful about receiving this scholarship.

“Receiving this scholarship is a blessing for me first of all,” Zanhkung said. “ Secondly, this also means that my hard work paid off. With this money, I’m planning to give 1/10 to my church and buy my own personal lap-top.”

The criteria needed for this scholarship is not really known, Fierce says, because all of the scholarships are different, and each of the scholarships might have different criteria. Some might factor in grades and GPA, but others might not factor in grades at all and are for any students who apply.

In order to receive an alumni scholarship, all the students have to do is apply online, Fierce says. It is usually in January. Fierce says the students have gotten better about applying because this year there were many students who applied for the scholarship.

“A lot of people said they don’t want to apply for scholarships because they don’t know what they are going to do,” Fierce said. “But if you have an idea, you can at least write it down because there is money, not for just students who are going to four years of college, but there are also a two years college, vocational, training,and people still give money for those.”

With many applicants, many students might wonder how they pick the winners. This year there were over 130 applicants, and individually going over all those applications takes a long time. According to Kay Watson, there are nine people that get a copy of all the applications, and they have about two weeks to read over all of them. Then, they decides which person would be most fitted for the scholarships according to the criteria that is need for that scholarship. After that they meet again for two nights, three hours each, as a group to go over the scholarships again until they come to an agreement to see which student is most fitted for each of the scholarships.

This Alumni Scholarship is really special since there are not many schools that does this.

“From what we know, there is no other alumni association who give this number of scholarships for this amount of money,” Watson said. “This is was started 25 years ago by a lady name Cindy Bertram, and at that time, they gave out five scholarships for a total amount of $1,000.”