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“We cannot always build a future for our youth, but we can always build our youth for the future.”

That quote from President Franklin Roosevelt inspires John Shook, president of Elk Grove Regional Scholarship Foundation, each year.

Shook has been a member of the foundation for 13 years, and as president, he understands how much the foundation has financially helped EGUSD students for the past 30 years.

The foundation comprises six local service organization and several individual donors. Scholarships are based on community service, financial need or a career path. When a donor creates a scholarship, he or she specifies the criteria for applicants.

Kindness engenders kindness, too: Several EGUSD graduates who won scholarships created, in turn, their own scholarships after finishing college. More than 100 volunteers are involved with the foundation.

Last May, 184 scholarships (ranging from $500 to $3,000) were awarded, totaling $209,000. This May, the foundation plans to award 180 scholarships for a total of about $220,000.

In addition, EGUSD employees raised $12,000 toward the EGUSD Employee Scholarship, a $3,000 increase over last year. This is one of the largest scholarships from the foundation. This year, the scholarship will be awarded to 12 students, each receiving $1,000. Annually, 600 to 800 students apply for this specific scholarship. To qualify, students must have a 2.0 GPA or higher, provide two letters of recommendation and be involved in school activities.

Students must submit applications for all scholarships by Jan. 19, 2018, through the foundation’s website. Each year, about a thousand students apply overall.

Currently, the minimum scholarship is $500 In 2019, Shook says, he’d like to see that increase to $1,250. As tuitions rise, he expects a minimum scholarship to rise to $2,000.

“I’ve heard from several students that they wouldn’t have completed college without the scholarship,” says Becky Davis, vice president of the scholarship committee. “As a community, it’s our responsibility we make sure we put our students on the road to success.”

Each May a ceremony is held to award the scholarships to the winning students, who appear onstage for the honor.

“This is the best event in Elk Grove, because it’s so rewarding to see kids continuing on with their education,” Shook says.

Readers can help the foundation by getting the word out about the scholarships available and by sharing news about the great events the foundation hosts. Save the date for this year’s Bounty on the Boulevard on June 10, 2018. This unique event held in the Old Town Plaza will serve guests with a five-course dinner prepared by well-known local chefs.To find out more how you can contribute and about creating a scholarship, please visit the foundation’s website.

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