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Record scholarship awards for Roanoke County high school seniors

(Courtesy: Roanoke County)
(Courtesy: Roanoke County) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS 10) - The Roanoke County Public Schools Education Association is giving out a record amount of scholarship money this year but deciding who gets the money is a big decision.

"We have a lot of individuals who you can tell want to better themselves, they want to grow and develop as individuals," said Hunter Dehart, a Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation board member.

It is Dehart's first time on the deciding committee for the Foundation. They go through every application looking at each student's academics, family income as a measure of need, leadership and some have essays. They work in pairs and once they've gone through the applications for a scholarship they talk it over coming to a decision.

'Most of these students are taking the hardest classes that the county offers," said Jason Sandzimier who is also on the Foundation's board and looks forward to the process giving out 95 scholarships ranging from $500 to $5,000. "This is by far the most enjoyable thing that I do as part of the education foundation is getting to see the type of youth that are coming to our schools and knowing that we can be a part of helping fund their college future."

"It's a little overwhelming because you're deciding someone's future, giving a little input to someone's future. We want to make sure we're setting them up for success and giving them the right opportunity," said Dehart.

At the annual scholarship and donor recognition reception in April The Roanoke County Public Schools Education Foundation will give out about 95 scholarships, awarding $78,000.

Money comes from individuals, corporate donations, memorials, endowments or trusts.  Sponsors also help with the annual golf tournament and 5K.  Contact Jean Wynn (540-562-3797) or jfwynn@rcs.k12.va.us for more information.