There is no question that empowering youth contributes to a stronger community. As the weight of societal issues falls heavier upon the shoulders of young adults, affordable post-high school options become even more critical. Fortunately, many local philanthropists have found a home at Greater Worcester Community Foundation where their giving helps students offset the cost of college. Philanthropic funds for college scholarships allow us to extend the opportunity for education to more students every year. Last year alone, more than $635,000 was awarded in 417 scholarships and more is available for 2018, with the annual deadline on March 5th. In one example, the Mary Olive Wood Scholarship is given annually to residents of Oxford, Mass. In a happy coincidence, Julianne Welsh and her mother, Pamela, have both been recipients of this award. Julianne is attending Boston University on the pre-med track. Pamela is a graduate of Worcester State University where the scholarship covered tuition for her first year. Pamela completed a B.S. in Biology and works as a chemist for the Webster Sewer Department. Julianne, who applied for several scholarships throughout the community, found that she was able to have more money available for books and other expenses. When asked for advice on the scholarship process, Julianne encourages all high school seniors to apply for as many as possible–and it’s never too early to start looking. We are honored to serve as one of the largest resources for community scholarships in Worcester County, helping students like Julianne and so many others.