The Gifting Tree Foundation is presenting $7300 to the Aiken Rotary Club Scholarship Foundation in support of their 2020 Scholarhips to Aiken Students.
We know education is the answer to help our community prosper and we applaud the Aiken Rotary Club for vetting approximately 120 students for their 2020 scholarship awards. A total of $7300 was given to the Aiken Rotary Scholarship Fund to be used for the students of their choice, who will attend USCA or Aiken Technical College in 2020.
We initially gave $5000 to fund one scholarship but when we learned of the challenges faced by the scholarship applicants this year, we opted to increase our donation by another $2300. The students we are helping are those whose lives were immediately changed – personally, emotionally and financially due to COVID 19. Many of the applicants had depended on their jobs as dishwashers, waitresses, nursing home helpers or a myriad of service industry jobs that were eliminated overnight. In addition, many parents also relied on that line of work and they too have had to adjust. For some, starting college this year seemed an impossible task.
We feel an admiration for these students who have overcome adversity in the past and continue to do so. Struggling is certainly making them more determined but it is still a heavy load for a student. The Gifting Tree Foundation was happy to be part of the community of individuals who have donated to help relieve some of their burden.
Betty Ryberg, Aiken Rotary Club Scholarship Chair, explained, “Our immediate concern is for safety, shelter, and food first but our hope is for the future. These students make me look forward to a future in which they will serve on boards, they will start businesses, they will be donors. I see that in each of them.”
We share in Betty’s vision and were happy to donate to ensure these students have the opportunity to be future leaders in our community.