Probably the single most significant effort of Community Foundation of Warren County is the awarding of scholarships to local college students.
The "most important ... and largest single effort the foundation is involved in are scholarships," said Charles MacKenzie, MD, Community Foundation Executive Director.
Their importance is immeasurable, according to those who have received the financial help.
Jessie Starr, a 2004 graduate of Warren Area High School, received a Community Foundation Scholarship for four years and used the money for books and tuition.
"We had to submit our grades and write an essay," explained Starr, who majored in physician assistance.
Nearly half of the scholarships awarded Community Foundation Scholarships are for $500 per semester. When looking at a potential college bill of $20,000 a year and more, that might not seem like a huge amount, but every little bit helps.
According to Ali Finley, a 2001 graduate of Warren Area High School, the scholarship she received still makes a difference in her life.
"When you are paying off student loans after you graduate, that $4,000 (the total amount she received from Community Foundation during her four years at Juniata College in Huntingdon) makes a huge difference and puts me a few months closer to getting that loan paid off," she said
To qualify for the scholarships, students must be residents of Warren County and must be full-time students (minimum of 12 credit hours per semester).
Applications are available at high school guidance offices in early spring and must be returned the first week of May. The applications also are available at the foundation website: www.communityfoundationofwarrencounty.org. Income limits - when applicable - are $65,000 per family with one child in college, $80,000 with two children in college, and $90,000 for three or more children in college.
Students are notified in late June or early July or their award, and checks are sent to financial aid offices of their colleges.