It may only be the first day of the year, but graduation from high school comes quickly.

Parents might be relieved to know there is a local option out there to offset increasingly pricey academic costs. The City of White Salmon is participating in the 2020 Association of Washington Cities Center for Quality Communities scholarship worth $1,500. Applicants who intend on attending post-secondary school in the fall of 2020 have until Feb. 6 to submit their applications.

The AWC awards the scholarship to six students who have demonstrated a willingness to engage with their community within the state of Washington every year. According to a press release, eligibility for recommendation depends on a few criteria. The applicant must:

  • be graduating from high school, home school, or receiving a GED in spring/summer 2020;
  • live in the City of White Salmon;
  • plan to continue their education at an accredited college, community college, or trade school in the 2020-2021 academic year on a half-time or more basis;
  • have been involved with a city government or with a community/school leadership activity.

Interested applicants must submit a completed application form, available on the City’s website [at https://www.white-salmon.net/citycouncil/page/2020-awc-center-quality-communities-scholarship-0], and one letter of recommendation from a non-relative as well as a personal essay to the City by the deadline for consideration. The City will accept mailed applications as well as applications received at the front desk of City Hall.

Applicants will answer the following prompts in the personal essay:

A sign of a good leader is being able to guide yourself and others through both good and challenging times, demonstrating high standards of responsibility, and showing commitment to community. Tell a story about a significant community responsibility you assumed or were given. How did this experience help you grow as a leader? How did the project impact others? What did you gain?

They will also provide short answers in the application form, detailing their career goals, academic achievements, financial need and their involvement in any city or community activities.

Each member city and town in the AWC can nominate one student for the scholarship, according to the Center for Quality Communities website. That nomination will be reviewed by the AWC. Winners of the scholarship will be announced towards June.

According to City Clerk/Treasurer Jan Brending, there has not yet been a single student from Bingen or White Salmon to receive one of these scholarships, although the cities usually submit a name if someone applies for the scholarship.

The Association of Washington Cities Center for Quality Communities has been awarding scholarships to go toward higher educational opportunities and vocational skill development since 2011.

The Center for Quality Communities promotes municipal leadership development and civic engagement. The Center’s goal is to develop a broad understanding of the important role cities and towns play in Washington. The Center is a 501(c)(3) organization, according to a press release.

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