By: Deanna Green

As the school year winds down, high school and college students across southwest Washington make a commitment to study specific passions or focus areas. Some graduates register for technical or career schools, while others enroll in community college or university. Each path is uniquely suited to specific goals, but they all share one thing in common—costly tuition.

Thankfully, there are dozens of local donors who believe deeply in the value of education and have made their own commitments to help local students achieve their dreams. With their support, the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington is able to offer specialized scholarships to fit the passions of many students. They are part of more than 200 total scholarships that we award from fifty funds every year.

With so many offerings, it is difficult for students to research and find all the scholarships that they qualify for. This is why we recently launched a new, online program to streamline the application process. Now, even when applying for multiple programs with varying focuses, basic information—such as a transcript or financial aid information—only has to be entered once.

This way, students spend less time filling in forms and more time finding scholarships that suit their educational goals and needs. And our offerings cover a wide variety of degrees and academic levels. Our specialized scholarships are geared toward students pursuing post-secondary education, including those pursuing degrees in the arts, healthcare, engineering, business and many other specific fields.  

Art Scholarships

The benefits associated with arts education have been well documented. After studying performing or visual arts in high school, some students may want to continue their education at a post-secondary institution. The Angela Svendsen Memorial Music Scholarship is available to a graduating high school senior in Clark County who plans to pursue a degree in either music education or music performance. The Gerald Bergquist Scholarship is available to a graduating senior from R.A. Long High School in Longview that plans to major in music.

Science Scholarships

Many students find meaning and success in scientific fields and want to contribute to society through discovery or innovation. The Roy F. Mather Scholarship is available to residents of Clark County who are pursuing a degree in any type of engineering. Still, other science majors may prefer caring for others as part of a team. The Frances Tribe Memorial Nursing Scholarship is available to students enrolled in the nursing program at Clark College.

Business Scholarships

Business skills are valuable in any field and can serve students from all walks of life. Some students may catch the entrepreneurial bug early or take an interest in creating high-functioning teams. The Jack and Carol Kelly Scholarship is available to students who graduated from a high school in Clark County and intend to pursue a career in business. Others may decide to advance their existing knowledge later in life, while also continuing to work in their current field. The Jay and Diane Zidell Scholarship is available to residents of Clark County who are currently in the workforce and want to improve their personal and financial circumstances through education.

As you can see, the Community Foundation’s specialized scholarships offer an array of opportunities to help pay for college or technical school. In turn, a broad spectrum of students are able to advance their academic and professional pursuits. So, whether someone wants to perform Beethoven in a concert hall, welcome newborns into the world or start a small business in southwest Washington, our scholarships make those dreams more attainable.

Each year, with the support of our generous fundholders and scholarship committees, we keep the dream alive for hundreds of local students. Scholarship awards from funds like those listed above provide critical support for students who are striving to reach their highest potential. If you know someone like this, who is taking their education to the next level, make sure to point them toward the Community Foundation’s full list of scholarship opportunities.

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