Media contact: Nancy Roseman, [email@example.com] [413-822-2866]
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.—[date]—An innovative college scholarship program for low-income Berkshire County high school students who will be the first in their family to attend college was announced today.
The Chang-Chavkin Scholars Program is named after its benefactors—Laura Chang and Arnie Chavkin, part-time residents of the Berkshires for over 30 years, who have a deep appreciation for the transformational impact of a college education.
“While there are many programs focusing on low-income, first-generation students in urban areas, very few programs focus on rural students,” said Chavkin. “We’re committed to opening doors for those who are underrepresented in higher education, and who often don’t complete that education. We’re confident that we can help Berkshire County students who have the desire to achieve this goal.”
Each Chang-Chavkin Scholar will receive up to $15,000 per year for four years toward the cost of attending an accredited U.S. college or university. The program will also advise and support recipients throughout their time in college to increase their chances of earning a diploma. It will even help guide scholars and their families through the complicated process of applying to colleges, selecting among admission offers, and navigating financial aid awards.
“The pressures associated with applying to and paying for college appear to increase every year,” said the program’s executive director, Dr. Nancy Roseman. “Completing all the application and financial aid forms and paying for tuition is challenging for any student and their family, and studies show that the effort is magnified for students who are first in their family to go to college.
“Laura and Arnie are determined to help some of the county’s most worthy students face that challenge.”
In its first year, Roseman is partnering with Drury, Wahconah, and Monument Mountain high schools to identify junior and senior class students as candidates for the scholarship. She strongly encourages interested juniors and seniors to speak to their Guidance Counselor.
“In the future, only juniors will be eligible to apply for the scholarship,” said Roseman, “but Laura and Arnie generously wanted to jumpstart the program by allowing this years’ seniors to also apply.”
The Program expects each year to name four or five juniors as Chang-Chavkin Scholars. Over time, the program will expand to other rural school districts in Berkshire County.