$1 million earmarked for Franklin County scholarships
SPRINGFIELD - A $3 million gift from an anonymous donor is benefitting students in Franklin County, among others.
The gift, given to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts (CFWM), was split into three funds, including the Franklin County Education Fund.
A portion of the $3 million is dedicated to building capacity and technology at CFWM.
“The Community Foundation is very excited to announce this donation and we are eager to award more scholarships in Franklin County,” said CFWM President and CEO Katie Allan Zobel. “And the gift to our capacity and technology funds is a testament to the trust we have built in the Pioneer Valley over the past 25 years. We are so thankful for the generosity of this donor.”
The Franklin County Education Fund is a scholarship for students residing in Franklin County and will be awarded for the first time in spring, 2017. In 2015, $149,600 was awarded to Franklin County students, and an additional $42,000 is expected to be awarded this year thanks to this generous gift.
Robert Storey, a guidance counselor at Mohawk Trail Regional High School, and Peggy Fallon, a guidance counselor at the Pioneer Valley Regional School, said this is great news because there are limited scholarship resources in Franklin County.
“With the increased connection to the outside world that the internet creates, our students are constantly reminded of large, national scholarships of which they have limited potential of being awarded. More scholarship money means increased opportunity and resources for our young people in Franklin County,” said Fallon.
“The Community Foundation has been a helpful resource for many of our graduating students on their journey to an affordable college experience, providing our hard-working applicants with significant scholarships,” said Storey. “I've been extremely impressed with the Community Foundation's ability to share with Mohawk grads, and I look forward to this opportunity being extended to even more worthy students with this generous donation.
The Community Foundation is celebrating 25 years of generosity and has awarded $140 million in grants, scholarships and loans throughout the Pioneer Valley, including scholarships to nearly 15,000 local students.
Becky Wai-Ling Packard is the director of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College. Packard is responsible for teaching and learning initiatives, and oversees other activities in the Center including student leadership, public service, community engagement, and speaking/writing. She is a professor of psychology and education, with 17 years of experience at Mount Holyoke. She completed a two-year term as associate dean of faculty where she worked on faculty recruitment, retention, diversity, and advancement. Packard holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University and is a resident of Amherst.