Greater Worcester Community Foundation announces $765,000 in scholarships to 421 high school seniors in Worcester County to help cover the rising costs of post-secondary education.
Since its founding 45 years ago, the Foundation’s scholarship program has supported more than 9,500 students with $14.8 million in scholarships, thanks to the generosity of donors who have set up funds to invest in young people’s continuing education.
Our 2023 scholarship awards are supporting young people whose aspirations were stronger than the obstacles they have faced. Despite disruptions to the high school experience caused by the pandemic, these scholarship recipients demonstrated commitment and tenacity that will serve them well in college and beyond.
- Pete Dunn, CEO of the Greater Worcester Community Foundation
Of those awarded, 44% of recipients plan to attend college in Massachusetts, with 22% staying in Worcester County. The top five schools include UMass Amherst, Worcester State University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, UMass Lowell and Boston University. Scholarships include new awards and renewals, as many of the Foundation’s scholarship funds provide continuous support to the student throughout their college journey.
The scholarships were awarded to students representing a wide range of identities, interests and accomplishments. The Love Your Neighbor Award, created by a Holden family in 2015, recognizes young people whose volunteer services benefit their community. 2023 awardee Grace Zereski, who will be majoring in biomedical engineering at George Washington University, says:
Volunteering allows me to better my world, even in a small way, and increases my sense of purpose, fulfillment and joy.
Foundation staff and 81 volunteers selected the Worcester County scholarship recipients based on merit, financial need, and specific criteria established by each of the 140 individual scholarship funds. High school seniors can submit one application and be considered for multiple scholarship opportunities through the Foundation’s online application, which will open again in January 2024.
Scholarships serve as powerful motivators for our youth by encouraging academic excellence and personal growth. These awards instill a sense of pride and confidence, recognize achievements, and inspire our scholars to reach their full potential.
- Rachel H. Monárrez, Superintendent of Worcester Public Schools