Twelve recipients were awarded a scholarship through the Desert Schools Community Service Scholarship program.

Desert Schools awards more than $40K in scholarships

Desert Schools Federal Credit Union has announced the recipients of this year’s Desert Schools Community Service Scholarship. In all, eight high school seniors and four college freshman were awarded scholarships totaling $42,500 for his/her volunteerism within the community.

Through Shine On, Desert Schools 75th anniversary celebration, the organization has pledged to give back more than $1 million to the community this year. These scholarships have helped bring Desert Schools closer to its goal, with a total donation of $502,943 to date.

Each scholarship recipient had to display a passion for helping others in need and an excellence in education. Helping children and animals in need, volunteering time at libraries and Valley teen centers, and participating in revitalization projects are just some of the ways this year’s scholarship recipients have given back to the community over the past year. In total, these 12 students have volunteered more than 1,200 hours and don’t have any plans to stop volunteering any time soon. With the help of Desert Schools’ more than 300,000 members, Desert Schools is able to help lift some of the financial burden associated with going to college.

“We’re thrilled to be able to reward students that share our values and actively give back to the community, “said Desert Schools CEO Susan Frank.

This year’s $10,000 high school scholarship went to senior Jacob Osmundson, who recently graduated from Ironwood High School. Jacob has volunteered more than 150 hours with the International Baccalaureate Program helping to tutor students in math, reading and science. High school senior Emily Hawbacker was awarded a $5,000 scholarship and the remaining six high school recipients received $2,500. They include: Joseph Jacquez, Emily Judson, Megan McWherter, Kaela Meyer, Alexis Williams and Alexandra Stitch. Matthew Wall is this year’s big winner among the college freshman. Matthew received a $5,000 scholarship to help him continue pursuing a degree in Criminal Justice at the University of Arizona. One day, Matthew hopes to work for the FBI or CIA. The three other college freshman, Andrew Hayes, Madeline Lynch and Margaret Hardin received $2,500 to help continue their education.

Students who are interested in applying for the 2015 Desert Schools Community Service Scholarship should start their volunteer efforts now to help build up their community service hours. In addition to volunteering, recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher to be eligible to apply for the scholarship program. Applications will start being accepted this fall. Visit www.desertschools.org/scholarship for details.

In addition to spotlighting students with scholarships, Desert Schools is also shining a light on Arizona and saying thank you throughout 2014 by awarding monthly prizes to members of the community, along with providing $75,000 in grants to six local charities. Visit www.shineonaz.org to learn more about the effort and join the 75th anniversary celebration.

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