Across the country, Scholarship America Dollars for Scholars affiliates are busy hosting financial aid workshops, running fundraising events and partnering with other organizations in the community – all to enable students to pursue their postsecondary education goals. Scholarship America honors this incredible work through its Affiliate Awards program, and we couldn’t be more excited to announce this year’s winners!
Affiliates can apply or be nominated in three categories: Irving A. Fradkin National Affiliate of the Year; H. Stuart and Marlys C. Johnson National New Affiliate of the Year; and Ralph “Cy” Seifert National Volunteer of the Year. This year, each category also included national finalists recognized for their dedication to local students. Finalists receive $1,000 for their organization, and winners receive an additional $2,000 and recognition of their great work and commitment to Dollars for Scholars.
Congratulations to all finalists and winners!
Irving A. Fradkin National Affiliate of the Year
CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars
CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars’ recognition as the Irving A. Fradkin National Affiliate of the Year caps off a banner year, as the affiliate celebrates 50 years of service to students in their community of Bedford, Massachusetts. The affiliate has demonstrated exemplary board practices; diverse opportunities for volunteer involvement; thoughtful recognition of volunteers, students and donors; and a willingness to try new ideas even with a longstanding presence in the community.
H. Stuart and Marlys C. Johnson National New Affiliate of the Year
Excel Beyond 211 Dollars for Scholars
At just two years old, Excel Beyond 211 Dollars for Scholars (Palatine, Illinois) has already made an impact in Township High School District 211. The affiliate’s focus on supporting at-risk students means that, more than just scholarships, the organization goes above and beyond in supporting their students where they most need help. They’ve experienced successes in fundraising, attracting new donors and publicity, and continue to diligently adopt best practices for effective board governance.
Ralph “Cy” Seifert National Volunteer of the Year
Cynthia (Cindi) Neary, CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars
As president of CSF Westfield Dollars for Scholars (and a former Dollars for Scholars recipient herself), Cindi has devoted much of her life to helping students. The affiliate has flourished under her leadership, nearly doubling the number of engaged board members, endowments and scholarships awarded. Donors receive personalized letters, calls, visits and invitations to Cindi’s home. Her creation of Memory Books, recognizing the power of every story behind every award, underscores her personal, tireless and passionate work that impacts the entire community.
In addition to the national winners, we are pleased to announce finalists from each category:
National Finalists for Affiliate of the Year
Whitman & Hanson Dollars for Scholars has been a strong presence in Whitman, Massachusetts, since 1962. Their longevity has included a mix of new and seasoned board members, involvement of students as volunteers, sound financial stewardship and being a demonstrated partner with Scholarship America, including recently leading an affiliate gathering.
Lincoln-Sudbury Scholarship Fund Dollars for Scholars celebrates 40 years of student success in their community, distributing more than $2.5 million to local high school graduates since its inception. The organization invested in an executive director to ensure year-round progress, and has displayed strong financial stewardship, communications and volunteer engagement.
National Finalist for New Affiliate of the Year
Youth Foundation Dollars for Scholars exemplifies a new kind of affiliate organization, working more broadly on “cradle-to-career” services. The Vail, Colorado, affiliate encourages active involvement among all board members and has direct engagement with students to better understand their needs. They’re ambassadors for the message that scholarships provide critical support, especially for students in need.
National Finalists for Volunteer of the Year
Bruce Brodsky has worn many hats at Utica Dollars for Scholars for 20 years, including serving as president of the board. His education expertise has led to increased partnerships and resources for the community -- he supported not just his own affiliate, but other nearby affiliates by securing foundation matching funds.
Ronald Stewart has been an ambassador for CSF of Bedford Dollars for Scholars for more than a decade. His work has resulted in in-kind donations to support the affiliate, ChapterNet implementation and a vast amount of historical information organized and shared to enable the board to continue their successful work.