Commencement ceremonies will soon take place in high schools throughout our communities as graduates celebrate past accomplishments and anticipate a future bright with possibilities. What an exciting time for the graduates. But, even in the land of opportunity, higher education and youth enrichment programs are beyond the reach of many children and young adults.
The importance of education and literacy are at the very heart of Assistance League. The co-founder of National Assistance League, Ada Edwards Laughlin, attended Stanford University in the 1890’s and taught school. Today, many Assistance League member volunteers are active or retired teachers who carry on the promise of education for all.
Believing in the importance of education as the means to a better life for children and adults, chapters across the nation annually spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on scholarships. Collaboration with high schools, colleges and other community organizations make it possible to ensure that the best candidates receive scholarships and have the opportunity to achieve their dreams.
The tradition began as early as 1956, with a college scholarship awarded by Assistance League of Huntington Beach to graduating senior Arnis Luters. The scholarship for $4,000 would cover his four years of college. Scholarships awarded during the 2017-2018 fiscal year will exceed $210,000. Recipients include nursing students and veterans in the Police Academy at Golden West College, Project Self-Sufficiency single parent clients, high school graduates, Junior Lifeguard and Therapeutic Riding Center program participants.
Assistance League of San Antonio supported college students this year by giving away 11 scholarships to juniors and seniors in college for a total of $33,000. These students were older students going back to continue their education.
Assistance League of Omaha gave out five $500 scholarships this year to teen parents who are graduating from high school. The students can use the scholarship money to enroll in any post- secondary further education: college, beauty school, tech schools, etc.
Assistance League of Kansas City gave out 20 $1000 scholarships to students from 10 area high schools. Each recipient can use the scholarship money towards higher education.
These are just a very few examples of how Assistance League supports higher education. The many thank you notes received from scholarship recipients expressing their appreciation are heartwarming. They are so grateful that an organization like Assistance League cares about their dreams and is willing to invest in their future.