WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/553574

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Page 175 of 227

put into my studies. Second, it allowed me to attend a private school that I otherwise could not have afforded, Lehigh, which has a great engineering program. I didn't know what I wanted to do when I started as a history major. If I hadn't gone to Lehigh, I wouldn't have ended up where I am now. "Third, it showed us all that we live in a town that cares about us and about education," says the Wellesley High 2011 graduate. "Just as [they did] when my father passed away a number of years ago, the town gath- ered around us. That's so meaningful." In June, Vasco graduated from Lehigh University with a BS in electrical engineering and this summer began officer training and four years of service in the Air Force. The Wellesley Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt organization driven by volunteers. Scholarship recipients need not have attended the Wellesley Public Schools but they must be residents of the town. Applicants submit financial information, including copies of the aid packages offered them by the two- or four-year college or university, or technical program, they will attend in the fall. Recipients are required to reapply annually to demonstrate eligibility and ongoing need. For their first year of college, 50 local high school seniors submit- ted applications to the community-based WSF in 2015, twice as many as in 2011. In addition to its own need-based scholarships, WSF each year awards two merit scholarships to a graduating high school female and male. The merit scholarships are separately endowed and given in memory of Margaret E. Daniels and Donald P. Babson, business leaders from Wellesley who championed education. The organization also administers scholarships granted by the Kiwanis Club, Newcomers' Club of Wellesley, Town of Wellesley Scholars Award for Babson College and Wesleyan University, Town of Wellesley War Memorial, Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, Wellesley Cooperative Clothing Exchange, Wellesley Hills Women's Club, Wellesley Historical Society, Wellesley Patrolmen's Association and the Wellesley Square Merchants Association, and coordinates its awards with the Wellesley Hills Junior Women's Club. Many of the civic groups add eligibility criteria that reflects their mission. Forty-one volunteers with roots in Wellesley serve on the WSF Board of Trustees or in advisory roles. However, students' financial information is confidential, seen only by a four-member Scholarship Committee currently composed of attorneys and financial services pro- fessionals. The committee reviews and coordinates applications to ensure that students' needs are met fairly and equitably across the town. Recent recipients attend community colleges, public and private four-year undergraduate colleges and universities, or enroll in special- ized programs such carpentry or software programming. "This a community that values education and is willing to invest in it," said Sarah Pedersen, WSF president from 2012 to 2015. She noted that in 1940 nationwide, one in twenty Americans went to college; in 2000, one in four enrolled. Forty-four years ago, WSF's first recipients were awarded $100 each, which covered their full tuition at the Katherine Gibbs School and Framingham State College. Contrast that with the more than $60,000 for tuition, room, board, and general fees at the nation's most expensive institutions this year. 174 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 5 (left to right) Sarah Pedersen, Liz Weaver, and Beverly Donovan education "a community that values education"

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