Each year, the OOIDA Mary Johnston Scholarship Fund awards one renewable $2,000 scholarship and four renewable $1,000 scholarships for the children, grandchildren and legal dependents of members of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association.
Since the program started in 1998, more than $315,000 in scholarships have been awarded to 96 students, allowing them to seek a higher education at a university or technical school.
With about 70 applicants each year, determining who receives the scholarships isn’t an easy task for the scholarship advisory committee.
However, longtime committee member Paula Chambers shared her voting philosophy during the committee’s meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the OOIDA headquarters in Grain Valley, Mo.
“What you have to remember is that every one of these students is worthy,” Chambers said. “Often, we’re looking at kids who really need that help and wouldn’t be able to go on to technical school (or college) without the scholarship.”
Much of the meeting centered on fundraising efforts for the scholarship, as well as discussion of ways to make the program more visible.
As part of fundraising efforts, the scholarship committee hosted a bake sale and sold biscuits and gravy at OOIDA headquarters during the week of the fall board meetings. In addition, two tickets to the Oct. 22 NASCAR event at the Kansas Speedway were raffled off and an OOIDA jacket was placed in a silent auction.
The committee also reported that the OOIDA website now includes a link to apply for the scholarship online. Andrew King of the OOIDA Foundation told the committee that he’s hopeful the ability to apply online will help increase the number of applicants.
To open the meeting, a vote approved the addition of Cathy Jungeblut to the scholarship committee.
Applications for the next scholarship are due Feb. 1.
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