Friends of HW Library offer scholarships

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 7, 2018

 The Friends of the Huntington Woods Library will be giving out two $500 scholarships to current high school seniors. Students have until 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, to send in an application.

The Friends of the Huntington Woods Library will be giving out two $500 scholarships to current high school seniors. Students have until 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, to send in an application.

Photo by Mike Koury

HUNTINGTON WOODS/BERKLEY — Students looking to gain some extra money for their college expenses will have a chance to do so through a new scholarship.

The Friends of the Huntington Woods Library will be giving out two $500 scholarships to current high school seniors in all areas, not just Huntington Woods.

“We’ve been trying to find a way to impact the young adults in our community, and we just thought, what better way to show them we care about the community (than) by giving people scholarships to continue their education?” said Melissa Kessler, president of the group. “I mean, that’s where most people go to learn or trade ideas and things like that is the library, so we thought we probably should be involved with that.”

Kessler said the Friends chose $500 because they thought it was a comfortable place to start in their first year of offering the scholarships.

“We thought we would start off here and see what kind of interest we got from the scholarship and adjust accordingly for next year,” she said.

Kessler also noted that there aren’t any requirements for what the money goes toward for a student’s college education. 

“The last time I was in college was about 10 years ago in graduate school, so all of my learning was pretty much done out of textbooks or course packs from the professors, but it seemed most of the information now is in an online format and people are able to rent materials for much cheaper,” she said. “Initially, we thought it would be a book scholarship, but it kind of got more of a general, someone-needs-helping-out-with-expenses kind of a thing, just because of the way things are going into more digital formats.”

Applicants must have volunteered at least once in 2017 or 2018 with the Friends of the Huntington Woods Library. They must write a 350-word essay, which will carry the highest percentage of decision weight in who gets the scholarship.

All applicants must be a high school senior with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. A completed application along with the required essay and documents must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Friday, March 30. Applicants must be accepted as a full-time student to an accredited two- or four-year college or university, and they must show confirmation of acceptance into a college or university. Failure to register at a college or university will result in forfeiture of the scholarship.

Attached to the application must be the essay, a copy of the student’s high school transcript and a copy of their letter of acceptance.

The application can be found at www.huntingtonwoodslib.org. All applications can be turned in at the Huntington Woods Public Library, 26415 Scotia Road.

Christina Belsky, a guidance counselor at Berkley High School, said the benefit of smaller scholarships such as this one is that, in the end, they really add up for the student.

“They’re competing with a smaller pool of applicants. And I think a lot of times students don’t always apply for those smaller local scholarships because the dollar amount isn’t as appealing, isn’t as big (of a) ticket,” she said.

“I think that they don’t always get a lot of students applying for them, so the competition is much less, but really, those add up — $500 here, $250 here, $1,000 there. That can really be a substantial help for a student,” Belsky said.