Free money, anyone?

Free money, anyone?

Mary Stauffer gives Kirndeep Badesha a scholarship worth $2,000 at the Senior Awards ceremony held at the Downey Civic Theatre on June 9. Stauffer handed out 32 scholarships to Downey High and 30 scholarships to Warren High which resulted in a total of $62,000.

With college rapidly approaching, seniors are scrambling to find sources of free money to pay for school expenses. Scholarships are the greatest help students can receive in lessening their college tuitions. Whether for sports or academic achievement, every recipient has to earn their awards.

The Kiwanis Club has recently given out money to a select group of their student members for contributions to the community and school.

“I got my scholarship from Kiwanis club for being involved in Associated Student Body (ASB), Junior Statesmen of America (JSA), Key Club, softball, and tennis,” senior Janette Rico said.

Kiwanis did not just give equal shares to each of its recipients. Their awards varied in amount, but they were worth every penny. Though some were fortunate enough to receive hefty sums, the others were content with what they had been awarded.

“I got $500, but I’ll put whatever I can to use on tuition and books,” senior Joshua Kim said.

Money can not only be found in clubs and volunteer organizations. Participation in school sports has opened doors for many student-athletes, making college fairly inexpensive.

“I went through what they call a recruiting process with the head coaches and after that they offered me a full ride,” said senior Kathlyn Medina, who will be attending the University of Florida in the fall for softball.

Aside from obtaining money for sports and community service, high school seniors were awarded various grants from multiple organizations on Thursday’s Senior Awards Night hosted at the Downey Theatre. Though there were multiple awards for achievements and contributions in high school, students were also pleasantly surprised to receive money from the elementary and middle schools they had once attended.

“I didn’t expect East Middle School to give out scholarships to their previous students,” recipient Rebecca Velasco said. “I was surprised to receive one, but overall I was grateful for the recognition.”

Scholarships must be earned; they lighten the load to the pathway to college. With free money, students who want an education can strive towards their goals without having to stress and worry about paying the full cost of tuition out of their own pockets. Financial grants provide relief to college-bound seniors everywhere; whether the awards be big or small, the help is always welcomed.