Jacksonville Students Receive Scholarships for Academic and Community Work

By Benjamin Cox on August 6, 2019 at 10:12am

Jacksonville students are being recognized for their accomplishments in and out of the classroom.

The Jacksonville Rotary Club has awarded a total of 5,000 dollars split up between three students through two scholarships. 2,000 dollars for two students and 1,000 dollars for one student. The Rotary scholarships went to Lauren Stidham and Lucas May while Camry Anderson was awarded the Weikert Scholarship in memory of Staff Sergeant Matthew Weikert.

Jacksonville Rotary Club Scholarship Chair Allen Stare talks about how the scholarship program began in the first place.

“This is a program that we brought to the club by a member who transferred here from Arkansas named Steve Holt. He was the one who really founded this and was the first chair of the committee for several years. We give away two, 2,000 dollar scholarships to seniors graduating anywhere in the school district and those are scholarship based from the Jacksonville Rotary Club. We have also partnered with the Matthew Weikert family to offer a Weikert scholarship in memory of Matt which is one, 1,000 dollar scholarship.”

The program, which is in its seventh year, aims to honor students who achieve excellence in the classroom while also showing excellence in leadership and volunteerism.

Stare explains the qualifications necessary for students to receive either scholarship.

“To qualify for the club scholarships, you have to be living in district 117 and graduating in that school year. For the Weikert scholarship, it is directed towards non-traditional students. Students that may be returning to school or students that are on a track out of high school that is going to take them to a trade school or some other non-four year type of school. The eligibility for the Weikert scholarship is that you are a graduate from Jacksonville High School at any time in your life. You can be in your fifties or sixties but be an alum from Jacksonville High School and if you are going back for additional training or schooling, you would qualify.”

The Rotary scholarships get funded through the Rotary Club fundraisers while the Weikert scholarship gets funded through a donor.

Stare details what the Rotary Club is looking for when deciding who receives the Rotary Club scholarships.

“With the club scholarships, we are looking for scholastic aptitude and high grades but that is not all of it. Since it is a Rotary scholarship, something that weighs very heavily in this scholarship is are you showing service and giving back to the community in your high school career. We are looking for students that have a history of working through their school and church on volunteer projects. If they are doing bi things to give back to the community, that has a lot of weight when it comes to the club scholarships.

Stare also details what they are looking for when choosing the recipient for the Weikert scholarship.

“For the Weikert scholarship, we are also looking for students who are big in service to the community and giving back, but the Weikert scholarship is not heavily dependent on grades. It is not a key component in the selection process. We are looking for somebody who is maybe a B or C student and someone who is not going to show up on a scholarship based awards list. However, they have a strong commitment to whatever it is that they are wanting to do in their future. They have shown a strong commitment to leadership and service to their community. Those are what weigh in for selection of the Weikert scholarship.”

Any student interested in receiving one of these scholarships in the future, you can visit jacksonvillerotary.org for more information including seeing the applications.