GREENFIELD — Thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor, Franklin County students can expect an extra $1 million in scholarships from the Franklin County Education Fund within the next several years.
According to the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts, the donor gave $3 million in all, one of the largest single gifts ever made by a living donor.
The gift was divided into three funds that will support the Franklin County Education Fund, including a scholarship fund for Franklin County students as well as building capacity and technology at the charity foundation. The donor is still deciding what she wants the remaining $1 million to benefit, according to foundation Communications Manager Hope Tremblay.
“The Community Foundation is very excited to announce this donation and we are eager to award more scholarships in Franklin County,” foundation President and CEO Katie Allan Zobel said in arelease.
In 2015, $149,600 was awarded to Franklin County students, and an additional $42,000 is expected to be awarded this year thanks to the donation. Tremblay expects at least $191,600 in scholarships to be awarded annually in the years going forward.
Robert Storey, a guidance counselor at Mohawk Train Regional High School, and Peggy Fallon, a guidance counselor at the Pioneer Valley Regional School, said this is great news because there are limited scholarship resources in Franklin County.
“With the increased connection to the outside world that the Internet creates, our students are constantly reminded of large, national scholarships of which they have limited potential of being awarded,” Fallon said. “More scholarship money means increased opportunity and resources for our young people in Franklin County.”
“The Community Foundation has been a helpful resource for many of our graduating students on their journey to an affordable college experience, providing our hard-working applicants with significant scholarships,” Storey said. “I’ve been extremely impressed with the Community Foundation’s ability to share with Mohawk grads, and I look forward to this opportunity being extended to even more worthy students with this generous donation.”
The Community Foundation is celebrating 25 years and has awarded $140 million in grants, scholarships and loans throughout the Pioneer Valley, including scholarships to nearly 15,000 local students.