NCHE interviews Activities Director Evelyn Bickley to learn more about NCHE scholarships.
NCHE: Evelyn, you serve as activities director and that includes serving as the chair of our scholarship committee. Tell us a little about the history of NCHE scholarships.
EB: The NCHE Scholarship program started in 1998. Since that time, NCHE has been able to award nearly $160,000 in scholarships to North Carolina homeschoolers. Students have used the money to attend a variety of post secondary educational programs including major North Carolina universities, military academies, mission training programs and community colleges.
NCHE: Which scholarships will be awarded in 2021?
EB: In 2021, we plan to award scholarships in the categories of athletics, academics, community service, the arts, and missions and ministry. Most of the awards are about $1000.
NCHE: What is the committee looking for– specifically: what makes a great application?
EB: The application submission packet includes a general information sheet, a transcript, a resume of other activities, recommendation letters, and an essay. The committee considers each of those carefully, but the most telling part is usually the essay. A well-crafted essay is engaging and shows the student’s personality and passion. If the student hasn’t yet decided what they want to study or do in the future, that’s fine–but we’d like to hear them talk about their options and specifically what in their life so far makes them think they’d be successful in that area. As a committee, we strive to be good stewards of our resources and want to award funds to those whose drive, vision, and experience make them most likely to succeed in their future endeavors.
Why is it more important than ever for families and business owners to consider setting up memorial scholarships or giving to the NCHE scholarship program? How does investing in post-secondary education for homeschooled students benefit the community?
EB: The scholarships that NCHE awards are funded by donations. Currently, one of the scholarships is funded as a memorial to a homeschooling mom who passed away. Another is funded by the curriculum company Apologia. Much of the money in years past has come from individual families giving directly to the NCHE Scholarship Fund. Without direct financial support from individuals and companies, NCHE would not be able to help deserving students. The students who receive these scholarships are leadership caliber, ones who are focused and dedicated, and will be a positive force in the future whatever field they pursue.
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