By: Jade Ford
Over the last 10 years, the Attleboro Scholarship Foundation (ASF) members have visited Attleboro High School (AHS) and provided seniors with opportunities to receive scholarships from families and other foundations who have partnered with ASF to award money.
ASF Executive Director Mrs. Wendy Holt visited AHS recently to answer students’ questions about certain scholarships and loan opportunities that aren’t offered just at AHS. She also visits periodically during the months leading up to the scholarship and college application times refilling all house office’s application bins.
“When I visit, I usually have a partner with me and she will sit here [at a table set up in B2 cafeteria] and I will go around to the tables making sure all the seniors have all the papers they need,” said Holt.
Students can reach Holt at (508) 226-4414 or visit ASF at 89 North Main St. with any questions regarding applications or the loan program.
“Students can come in with any questions or make one-on-one appointments; anything that we can help with we are more than happy to do,” said Holt.
Another very important resource for the students within AHS is secretary Mrs. Carolyn Bosh, who is available on the balcony for students who have any questions.
At ASF, it is not just as simple as picking the most qualified student or the student who needs it the most; there is a selected group of ASF members who pick students for the scholarships. ASF first helped out with student loans in 1947, but then branched out into offering scholarships for college.
The scholarships offered do not entirely revolve around good grades like most students might think. They are more often based on which school the student wants to attend and the student’s community service hours. Others have more specific requirements.
The main application that all guidance counselors encourage students to apply for is the general application, which qualifies students for many other scholarships. “Outside organizations that aren’t partnered with us or the high school may find and pick students to give scholarships and money to who they feel will do the most with the money they’re given,” said Holt.
The loan program is up to a $15,000 loan, which adds to whatever financial aid the student is receiving. The program also depends on the student’s chosen college. There are also many technology scholarships as well for students who wish to go into a technical career.
ASF tries their best to spread the word about how they can help and what they can offer to students. “We put notices in the newspaper, we’re even on cable television too; we are always doing our best to get the information out there,” said Holt.
Seniors can apply to as many scholarships as they want and receive several scholarships. “We try our best to spread out the money to everyone as much as we possibly can because we don’t want to give all of the money to one student who has a bunch of qualifications and average grades and none to a student who has less qualifications and better grades,” said Holt.
The L.G. Balfour Foundation has partnered with ASF and administers the Balfour money; however, it is not advertised like the rest of their scholarships. “After Mr. Balfour passed, he said in his will that he wanted to take care of all his former workers’ [at the Balfour Jewelry factory] grandchildren with their education, so any child who has a grandparent that worked there can apply to receive money from that foundation, but we don’t advertise that as much as the others,” said Holt.