Fairfield County’s Community Foundation is investing in the future of the region with their extensive scholarship initiative. Les Treize, a group of business and professional women moved their fund into the Community Foundation in 1992 to provide the Les Treize scholarships and make a difference and an impact in the community. (contributed photo)
Norwalk, CT - Fairfield County’s Community Foundation (FCCF) is among the largest providers of college and vocational training scholarships in the region. Funding higher education and providing opportunities for training and professional certifications is a priority for FCCF whose need is reflected by recent data from the Fairfield County Community Wellbeing Index 2019, which indicates that ‘six years after graduating high school, only 58% of Fairfield County public school students have a college degree’. Student and family financial barriers are one of the underlying reasons for this statistic. Providing financial assistance to attain that dream of a college education and the opportunity for post-secondary education and employment for all Fairfield County high school students is why the Community Foundation’s scholarship program is so important.
In 2020, close to $1 million will be awarded to over 400 Fairfield County high school seniors, college undergraduates and graduate students to jump start their path to success. These scholarship awards range from $500 to $8,000 and some of the scholarships are even renewable. Since the Community Foundation Scholarship Program was established in 1992, nearly $9 million has been awarded.
“Together, we can make your future and the future of our community brighter. We encourage Fairfield County students to dream big and apply for these scholarships! Finding the resources to pay for higher education is a daunting task. The Community Foundation has a vast array of awards available through the generosity of our more than 160 fund holders who are committed to investing in improving lives for all of Fairfield County,” stated Juanita T. James, CEO & President, Fairfield County’s Community Foundation.
The Community Foundation’s vision to close the opportunity gap in Fairfield County by eliminating disparities in income, education, employment, housing and health is supported by the scholarship initiative. With over 175 scholarships to choose from, students applying to two-year and four-year educational institutions, both within Connecticut and beyond, and for technical certificate programs may qualify for any number of opportunities. Scholarships through FCCF are available for high school seniors and current undergraduate and graduate students residing in Bridgeport; Easton; Fairfield; Monroe; Milford; Shelton; Stratford; Trumbull and Westport. There is an online application at fccfoundation.org. The application deadline is March 21, 2020. For frequently asked questions about the process of applying for the numerous Community Foundation scholarships, you can find many answers at FCCFoundation.org/Apply.
FCCF also offers a wide selection of scholarships directly through most high schools in Fairfield County. Students and parents are encouraged to visit their high school’s websites or contact their guidance departments for additional information about current Fairfield County’s Community Foundation scholarships available and instructions on how to apply.
One of the highlighted scholarships this year for students in good standing is The Walter Breslav, Jr. Scholarship. This scholarship was established by the Mechanics and Farmers Savings Bank in 1986, in memory of Walter Breslav, Jr., a long-time member of the Mechanics and Farmers Savings Bank Board of Directors. Walter Breslav, Jr. He is remembered as a man with unending intellectual curiosity who cared deeply for his work and his clients and as a brilliant person who did an enormous amount of good for so many people. The intent of this scholarship fund is to provide higher education opportunities for high school senior(s) from the Greater Bridgeport area every other year leading to for higher education that will lead to a bachelor's degree in business or finance. Candidates should also demonstrate a strong social conscience. Recipients may apply to renew their scholarship each year provided that satisfactory grades and an essay are submitted each year with the renewal request. The fund continues to be supported by the Breslav family and their friends and has extended opportunities to many by investing in their future.
Another scholarship option for many students is the Les Treize Scholarships. Les Treize, a group of business and professional women, their fund at the Community Foundation was established in 1992 to provide college scholarships. These scholarship opportunities are primarily for African-American students from local high schools in the greater Bridgeport area and are awarded in accordance with academic potential and need. Awardees are selected by the Les Treize volunteer committee. The opportunities being given by Les Treize investing in the community has grown exponentially over the years and is a model and a compelling tale of how concerned, community-spirited women can and do make an impact in their community.
Take the time to determine what scholarships you may qualify for and find out how to apply. Contact your school’s guidance department and go to the Community Foundation’s website at FCCFoundation.org/apply.
By creating an opportunity for all students to pursue post-secondary degrees and certificates that can lead to meaningful careers with their extensive its scholarship program funding, the Community Foundation is committed to fostering a vital and inclusive community where every individual has the opportunity to thrive. Fairfield County’s Community Foundation’s goal to build a stronger community while promoting philanthropy as a means to create lasting change in Fairfield County is exemplified by its scholarship initiative.
If you are interested giving someone the opportunity to pursue their dream by establishing a scholarship at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, contact Mike Rosen at 203.750.3200.