We hear a lot about how expensive it is to pursue education and training after high school. Whether it is a four-year college or a two-year technical school, paying for post-graduation schooling is a huge concern.
For high school seniors residing in Mason, help is available from the Mason Scholarship Foundation (MSF). A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, MSF was founded in 1983 by the Kiwanis Club of Mason. It is dedicated to furthering the higher education and training of students by providing significant two and four-year financial scholarships. To date, MSF has awarded more than 155 scholarships totaling $525,000.
Dick Yost, a long-time Kiwanis member and an original MSF founder, explains, “Mason Kiwanis is an active, get-things-done community service organization. We mostly focus on our youth and schools and the MSF is part of that commitment.”
He adds, “Mason schools draw families to the community for the quality education they offer. The scholarship foundation is basically rewarding the schools and the city for their efforts in elevating these students to such a high level. All the recipients respond with how important this scholarship is for their education. Every little bit helps.”
Scholarships are open to Mason High School graduating seniors, as well as those residing in the Mason City School District regardless of the high school they attend, including home schooled students. Awards are given to students pursuing degrees at two-year community colleges and technical schools and four-year colleges and universities.
Applications for 2021 are being accepted now. According to the Kiwanis website: “preference will be given to candidates who demonstrate commitment to community service, strong educational motivation, and leadership skills through their activities in school, faith organizations, youth groups, volunteer efforts, and work experience.”
Dick describes the characteristics of the students he has interviewed, “I am totally impressed by the applicants’ poise, abilities and intelligence. They are amazing, quality young people. This is really a great city, represented by these outstanding students.”
Megan Slater, a 2020 Magna Cum Laude graduate of The Ohio State University, is one of these exceptional and grateful scholarship recipients. She shares, “Scholarships of any amount are extremely helpful in easing the financial burden of college. The scholarship I received from the Mason Scholarship Foundation significantly reduced the cost of my undergraduate tuition.”
She adds, “This scholarship is special, as it comes from the Mason community I have lived in my entire life. Knowing the community believed in my ability to succeed was a great confidence booster as I headed to college.”
MSF continues to be financially stable and successful through the hard work and dedication of the members of the Kiwanis Club of Mason and the great support of the Mason community for their annual golf outing and pancake breakfast fundraisers.
Mark Swartz, MSF Board Vice President states, “Most of the fundraising for the foundation is accomplished through the Kiwanis Club’s activities. Individual donors and companies are also part of the fundraising efforts and we encourage more community members and businesses to partner with us to support our students and provide these important scholarships. There is such a value we can bring to our students who want to continue their education.”
Megan adds, “Contributing to the Mason Scholarship Foundation is an impactful way to give back. Whether you are a business owner in Mason or an individual who has felt the support of the Mason community, getting involved with the MSF allows you to pay it forward by supporting and shaping the futures of young, determined members of your community.”
For information about donating and for HS Seniors interested in applying for a two or four-year program scholarship, please visit: MasonKiwanis.org.