The Clinton County Foundation has scheduled an evening for parents and students to learn more about funding options for education plus other opportunities related to life after high school graduation. The Foundation’s Scholarship Night will take place Tuesday, October 26 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Clinton County Fairgrounds.

At this free event open to the public, students and families will receive information about scholarships, including understanding the sometimes-difficult application process. The agenda will include a presentation on the Foundation’s new scholarship portal, recently developed to help parents and others identify what scholarships are available in Clinton County and how to apply for them.

Most importantly, Jan Blohm, executive director, has shared that during the meeting, the Foundation will be awarding five scholarships to those lucky students who attend and participate in a random drawing.

Included in the evening’s agenda will be information on how to apply for scholarships, including completing government-required documents, tips on writing a good scholarship essay, and other suggestions on pursuing funds for education and training.

Attendees will learn about the Clinton County Succeeds program and a member of the U.S. Marines will be there to provide information on military service and education.

Last spring, the Foundation had a conversation with all Clinton County high school guidance counselors. The purpose of the discussion was to identify ways to help County students and families better understand education funding options.

One thing the counselors mentioned was that in Clinton County, not all students or families are aware of community scholarships, and that many students do not apply for these available funds even when they know about them.

The Foundation seized on this need and worked to address this concern. They acquired software this past summer to build an all-county scholarship common application scholarship portal.

Blohm says that this program is a “one-stop-shop” – a common application portal — where almost all available County scholarships, including application procedures, will be available to everyone.

To use the scholarship portal, students will set an account. The software will tell them that they are eligible for “X” number of scholarships. And then they can choose to fill out the specific essays and required details like letters of recommendation and transcripts.

Moreover, the portal will remind them of deadlines; requests for transcripts are emailed to guidance counselors for upload; and requests for a letter of recommendation can be emailed and uploaded.

Blohm sees this as another step in the Foundation’s commitment to promoting educational success in our community. “This portal will make applying for scholarships a less-painful process and help families locate funds that they may not have known about before.”

The Clinton County Foundation was founded in 1985 as a charitable community organization with a 16-person governing board. Blohm said the Foundation currently manages more than 80 scholarships annually.

Submitted article