DEF’s “Scholarship Sponsors Forum” Explores Ways to Help Students on Delmarva
Scholarship representatives from 23 local organizations and businesses attended a “Scholarship Sponsors Forum” hosted by the Delmarva Education Foundation (DEF) to find ways to award more scholarship money to more people on the lower Delmarva Peninsula. Additional support for the August 24 event was provided by the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES) and Choptank Electric Trust, Inc.
The Forum’s goal was to provide an opportunity for representatives of established local scholarship programs to meet and share best practices about how to run their programs efficiently and effectively and to learn about DEF and Community Foundation resources available to help them. During the roundtable discussion of ways to increase the number of scholarship applicants, Anne Whaples from Choptank Electric Trust (which awards several scholarships annually) proposed DEF host a “scholarship fair,” similar to job fairs and college fairs. Prompted by the enthusiasm of many of the participants, DEF’s executive director Kat Harting agreed to explore the feasibility of such a scholarship fair. Follow-up evaluations of the forum were uniformly positive, with many participants noting they hoped for a second such meeting to allow more time for discussion.
In addition to the roundtable discussion, moderated by Norman Tilghman, retired director of the Upward Bound Program at University of Maryland Eastern Shore, participants were given a demonstration of DEF’s financial aid database, which is a free, online, searchable database of locally-targeted scholarships. It helps publicize the scholarships represented at the forum as well as many others and lists over a million dollars in local scholarship funding available to local students every year. Dr. Spicer Bell and B.J. Summers of the Community Foundation spoke about the value of endowed scholarship funds as a source of stable and predictable funding for area students that involves minimal administrative work by the fund donor. The number of endowed scholarships administered by CFES has been growing steadily.
Norman Tilghman (center) moderated the forum for scholarship sponsors hosted by the Delmarva Education Foundation.
DEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps people find money to continue their education. DEF’s mission is to improve college access and success for residents on the lower Delmarva Peninsula. Assistance on a wide range of topics relating to post-secondary education is available for individuals, families, and groups from DEF’s trained college access advisors. DEF’s website is at www.delmarvaed.org. To contact the Delmarva Education Foundation, call 410-219-3336 or email email@example.com.