There may be nothing like the long-lasting scene of a bunch of scholars in full graduation regalia, smiling and laughing as they hurl their mortarboards into the air on the finish of a commencement ceremony. Happily, that may be a scene that’s returning this yr to many Texas colleges. After a yr of video and drive-by commencement celebrations and ceremonies, it’s good to see some normalcy return. The Class of 2021 has endured many challenges to reach at this second, they usually deserve our honest congratulations for a job properly executed.
These college students have been juniors final yr when the COVID-19 pandemic closed colleges and despatched all of them dwelling for the ultimate six to 9 weeks of college, robbing the Class of 2020 of many rites of passage. On the time, my sister-in-law, an elementary principal, tried to assist her pals and colleagues put the tip of the varsity yr in perspective by declaring that if we view the schooling of scholars on a 12-inch ruler, the disruption of the final semester of the 2019-20 college yr represented solely one-quarter of an inch of their first by means of twelfth grade expertise. The chaos of “two weeks to flatten the curve” turned an endurance race by means of the expertise challenges of distance studying. Following the tip of the varsity yr, lecturers and directors labored tirelessly over the summer season to adapt their 2020-21 instructing to the most recent native, state and federal tips. In Texas, many lecture rooms reopened within the fall whereas many others included hybrid fashions of at-home and in-person instruction. This yr has been onerous on lecturers and college students, making commencement that a lot higher a trigger for celebration.
The challenges of finishing highschool have additionally impacted school and profession readiness and the scholarship software course of. Although we don’t perceive all of the the reason why, at East Texas Communities Basis we now have seen a dramatic lower within the variety of scholarship functions in 2021. The applying course of was already closed when the pandemic struck in 2020, however the Class of 2021 had many months to ponder COVID impacts on their school and profession choices earlier than scholarship deadlines in early 2021. Regardless of schools, universities and scholarship choice committees enjoyable a lot of their software necessities, corresponding to ACT/SAT scores and grade-point averages, the variety of candidates was nonetheless low.
Greater schooling analysis agency Simpson Scarborough has been conducting periodic surveys to comply with the progress of highschool and school college students by means of the pandemic. A current survey indicated “an alarming variety of college-bound highschool seniors planning to attend a four-year college within the fall have been nonetheless within the early levels of the school search course of.” One highschool senior commented, “The COVID-19 outbreak severely affected my psychological well being, which made me turn into much less motivated for faculty. Filling out functions felt like a chore, so many of the deadlines had handed by the point I began feeling extra like myself.” In response to the survey, as of mid-February, 41% of highschool seniors haven’t utilized to any colleges but. Kudos to the scholars, and their lecturers and counselors, who remained centered on the alternatives forward of them.
Regardless of the entire technological, bodily, psychological and emotional challenges they needed to overcome, the ETCF scholarship Class of 2021 contains 128 recipients who will obtain a mixed complete of $220,250 from 68 completely different scholarship funds. ETCF is privileged to manage over $13 million in 86 distinctive scholarship funds created by East Texas donors over the previous 30 years. This yr’s scholarship recipients have been chosen by over 260 volunteer scholarship committee members reviewing over 1,200 functions. To every of those college students, we ship our heat congratulations!
At ETCF we recognize the chance to assist East Texas college students and serve beneficiant East Texas donors. It’s a nice privilege to be a part of a course of that rewards scholar achievement and will make an essential distinction within the instructional path of a deserving graduate. Celebrating the Class of 2021 and contemplating the chance to ascertain a scholarship fund to honor a liked one or put money into our future could also be your subsequent finest alternative to present properly.
Visitor columnist, Kyle Penney is President of East Texas Communities Basis. ETCF hosted East Texas Giving Day on April 27 and raised over $2.8 million to assist native nonprofits. To study extra about ETCF or to debate your charitable giving, contact Kyle at 866-533-3823 or e mail questions or feedback to email@example.com. Extra data is accessible at www.etcf.org.
Visitor columnist, Kyle Penney is President of East Texas Communities Basis. ETCF hosted East Texas Giving Day on April twenty seventh and raised over $2.8 million to assist native nonprofits. To study extra about ETCF or to debate your charitable giving, contact Kyle at 866-533-3823 or e mail questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Extra data is accessible at www.etcf.org.