ELYRIA — To mark 100 years of giving back to the community, the Elyria Rotary Club is planning to do what it does best: give back even more to the community.
High school seniors at Elyria, Elyria Catholic, Midview and Open Door Christian as well as First Baptist Christian School know about the high value of a Elyria Rotary scholarship that pays $20,000 over four years of higher education with a focus on rewarding community service. But in celebration of the club’s centennial birthday, another $30,000 will go into the hands of college-bound students.
This year’s total award amount will be $50,000, an increase that will add to the more than $250,000 in scholarships given to students over the years.
The additional $30,000 worth of Exemplary Service Centennial Awards will be of different amounts based on merit. Centennial Awards will be paid as one-time awards for the 2018-19 academic school year.
Rotarian Dave Janowicz called the increase huge for local students.
“One of the things we have noticed in the past is some of the students are apprehensive because they think only the top students are going to win so why should they even try,” he said. “Now with this increase, this opens the door for so many other students.”
With a focus on “service above self,” Janowicz said Rotary doesn’t just look at academics and GPAs like some other scholarship programs.
“It really is about service,” he said. “We want to know what students are doing outside of schools. Even the work they do at church and at work are considered. We look at the whole spectrum of a student.”
The applicant must have applied for and intend to attend a baccalaureate institution on a full-time basis for a four-year degree beginning in the fall. The scholarship will be paid directly to the recipient’s educational institution. All applicants for the Elyria Rotary Club Scholarship must:
- be a graduating senior from one of the above identified schools;
- possess a minimum 2.5 cumulative grade-point average, through the last grading period;
- have been accepted or applied for acceptance to a baccalaureate institution;
- enroll full-time at the institution in fall 2017;
- maintain a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 and remain in good standing at the institution;
- be actively involved in community service, volunteerism and extracurricular activities;
- submit two letters of recommendation from community service/volunteer organization representatives or from teachers, advisers, community members or Rotarians who know the applicant well;
- file a FAFSA form;
- provide additional information and documents as called for in the written application.
Immediate family members of the Elyria Rotary Club are not eligible to apply.
April 20 is the deadline for all applications and required documentation.
Janowicz said high school counselors and principals have copies of the application documentation.
The scholarship committee will make final decisions by mid-May.
“Any year we get between 25 and 50 applicants, but with the schools we support with this, we should get more students,” he said. “We want to see more this year, our centennial year.”
Beyond the scholarship program, Elyria Rotary will celebrate its centennial with the gift of an inclusion playground at Cascade Park.
The rock- and water-themed play area will be all-inclusive. The water portion of the park will stop short of being a splash pad but will offer a wet play experience for children, said parks district Director Jim Ziemnik.
Also, the Rotary Centennial Gala will take place April 21 at Lorain County Community College in the Culinary Arts Center and Reaser Grand Room. Tickets are $100 per couple.