The first Montgomery County students to receive awards from the STAR Scholarship Foundation will be honored at a luncheon and awards ceremony on Sunday, July 14, at 1:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bethesda.
Sixty-two students will receive monetary awards of either $1,000 or $250 dollars, for a total of $39,500. An additional ten students will receive certificates of merit. Students who competed for the awards submitted an application form and an essay, along with recommendations from teachers, employers and community leaders. Finalists were interviewed by a review committee.
Program founder and benefactor Paul Peck, a philanthropist from Northern Virginia who serves as chair and CEO of the STAR Scholarship Foundation, provided $100,000 in seed money for STAR scholarships for African American students in Montgomery County. Future funding for STAR - which means Stand Tall and Reach - is being generated by the STAR Montgomery Advisory Board. Montgomery County Public schools is providing administrative and clerical support, and Montgomery College also is providing assistance.
African American high school students can compete annually for scholarships, for a potential maximum award of $3,000. When a student wins a scholarship, the money is held in trust by the STAR Scholarship Foundation until the student enrolls in an accredited college or trade school.
The foundation originally was formed in 1992 to serve students in Arlington County, Virginia, and also has launched programs in the District of Columbia and Oakland, California.