Local Scholarship Foundation Undergoes Changes
Since the Murphy Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Foundation was incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit in 2006, it has given away $85,000 to 54 Murphy students. The number of scholarships, as well as the amount of each scholarship, has increased over the years. This year, six Murphy students will each be awarded a $1,500 scholarship.
For the 2018 - 19 school year, a few changes have been implemented into the selection process of scholarship recipients.
In the past, three scholarships were awarded to students who reside within the Plano ISD boundaries and three to students who reside within the Wylie ISD boundaries. This year, the scholarships will not be ISD boundary based.
Previously, FAFSA scores were not requested, this year, because the Foundation would like to base a portion of their decision on needs of the student, FAFSA scores will be considered.
Additional information requested on the scholarship application is work experience and extracurricular activities. An essay detailing future educational/career plans is required.
For quite a few years, Murphy Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Foundation board members have expressed a strong interest in awarding a student who, upon graduation, will attend a Vocational College/CTE (Career and Technical Education) College. This year, members of the Foundation have met with staff at each ISD to spotlight this request.
These scholarships are open to all Murphy students who are graduating at the end of the 2018-19 school year, including students who are home-schooled or attend charter schools.
Jon Lashbrook has been the chairperson of the Foundation since it began. However, this year, he has chosen to be the treasurer. The Foundation is currently co-chaired by longtime members, Maria Reilly and Steve Dault. Reilly and Dault explain why this Foundation is important to them. Reilly said, “No student should be denied the chance to further their dreams, whether it be a traditional education or education to further a trade. Who knows how these scholarships will affect the lives of the recipients…and hopefully they will remember what it meant to them to be awarded when it is their turn in society.” Dault said, “The MCOC Scholarship Foundation is a great way for all of us to give back something to our community through the support of Murphy students. It means quite a lot to me to know that we are assisting our future community leaders with college or trade school expenses. With the ever-escalating educational expenses our students face, every dollar makes a difference. I can’t think of a better way to help those that deserve a chance for a better future for themselves and those around them.”
Lashbrook provided facts as to how the Foundation has been funded, “Funds are raised each year by many activities. Punkin’ Chunkin’ at Maize Days has evolved into the principal fundraiser. Piggie contributions (blue piggy banks are located at a variety of local businesses and set out at all Chamber events to collect funds) and community donations funded two of the six scholarships awarded in 2018. A Murphy resident gave $1,500 to personally fund one scholarship in 2018.” He adds, “If the Foundation received more community support, we would be able to enhance and increase the number of awards.”
Scholarship applications can be found at murphychamber.org. Select the scholarship link. The deadline to submit applications is Apr. 1. Scholarship recipients will be notified by Apr. 15.