Scholarship funds doing their best

EDITOR:

I feel compelled to address the author of the article in last Saturday’s Speak Out. They seemed to be appalled at the “paltry” $500 scholarships that were given by local philanthropic organizations. The author went so far as to say that we “folks” should all be ashamed of our “paltry” efforts.

As a member of one of the organization that gave out three $500 scholarships I am not ashamed in the least. Years ago, when the market and the economy was healthy, American Association of University Women was able to give out larger amounts. Sadly, that is no longer true. However, we still work tirelessly to raise money for our scholarships by a Christmas Auction and our annual book sale each spring in the Midtown Mall. I figure over the past 21 years as an AAUW member I have moved one ton of books in order to make money for our scholarships. I was never alone, as my AAUW sisters were with me lifting and carrying boxes of books to make enough money for our scholarships along with every other member of every organization in our area who gave their time, blood, sweat and tears to raise money for their scholarships.

You are right however; it isn’t very much considering the fact that the cost of a college degree has risen 1,120 percent over the past 30 years. Just in the years 2008 to 2013 the increase for college was 27 percent beyond inflation and our young people have a college debt of over $43 billion. We can fight that by voting people in office that will curb the practice of continuously raising the interest rates on college loans. Until that time, we will do and give what we can. My daughter won a $500 scholarship and her bill for textbooks her first semester at NMU was $497. So that paltry amount did help.

You did state you could come up with $500 yourself. If this is true, AAUW – and I imagine any one of the other area organizations – would gladly take your generous donation to boost their scholarship amount.

Lynne Wilson

Iron Mountain