Teton Valley rotary

The biggest winner this year in the Teton Valley Rotary scholarship competition was our schools! In a time when we could have no face-to-face contact–schools were not in session for counselors to meet with individual students–many students were left with their own efficacy and motivation to be in communication with the Rotary club to navigate rigorous application submissions, technology, and online interviews! A testament to these students’ capacity for success in tough circumstances, we had a record turnout of applicants, the highest average grade point among our applicants, and some of the closest decisions since our scholarship competition began! Congratulations to our schools for fostering this sort of personal responsibility and determination in the class of 2020, and ultimately, congratulations to our winners and the many students who applied, all of whom will continue forward to fulfill wonderful aspirations.

The Rotary Club of Teton Valley is happy to announce the following scholarship recipients among the 2020 Teton High School graduates: The Encouragement Scholarship ($1,000 each) goes to Alexandra River Temple and Sara Olerud. The Rotary Student of the Month Scholarship will be split ($2,000 each) between Cambrie Streit and Kate Bleffert. The Phyllis Morey Memorial Scholarship ($5,000 each) will go to Amy Perez and Verenice Bocardo.

It is critical during this unprecedented time to recognize our community for its support of our schools and our Rotary scholarship program. Funding for this program comes through the Tin Cup each year and our community’s donations. Dollars donated to the Rotary Foundation through the Tin Cup go directly into student programs, primarily the scholarship program, but also our literacy program, which encourages linguistic competence by supplying books for kindergarten and first grade students throughout Teton Valley elementary schools. Finally, funds supply scholarships for Teton High School students to attend a prestigious leadership camp for high school freshmen in Montana each year.

A note to future applicants: Students’ written and oral communication skills were major factors in the board’s decision-making process. A thorough application, a well-rounded resume, and a thoughtful essay moved applicants to the next level. The interview process, conducted via ZOOM, showed applicants to be comfortable in this world of technology, confident and honest in their responses to interviewer questions, and flexible with technical glitches. Ultimately, the Rotary Foundation continues to anticipate applications that convey reflection, service, and considerable time spent delving into hopes for the community and personal passions, goals, and values.

Thank you to all students who applied, to all their parents who raised these outstanding kids, and to the community for their support of our schools, our kids, and our scholarship program.

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