Money in the community


With college coming quick, students rush to turn in applications, on Jan. 13, in the College and Career Center, for local scholarships to subsidize their tuition. The scholarship criteria ranged from gender to ethnicity.

Jessica Xilo, Parents & Teachers Editor

As a new year begins, seniors face the responsibility of searching for local scholarships within the community to help with college expenses.

The Local Scholarship, available on, is an important resource for many students. Applying through the online application gives the opportunity of being considered for several scholarships such as the Ardis Memorial Scholarship, the Downey HS Photography Scholarship, or the Lehman Family Scholarship. Each scholarship has its requirements, but the Local Scholarship helps increase the likelihood of being awarded money for college.


Senior Pink Tantiwuttipong agrees that the way the Local Scholarship is organized is beneficial to students. “I liked it when the counselor went to our class to talk about the scholarship,” Tantiwuttipong said. “It helped a lot.”


Dr. Mary Stauffer is a significant contributor to funding scholarships. As a philanthropist, Stauffer rewards students for their involvement in school, sports, and the community. Usually at the end of their year, seniors are awarded different kinds of scholarships from the Mary Stauffer Foundation, depending on their accomplishments through high school.


Kiwanis is another source that gives money out to members that make a difference in the community. Being involved in service clubs such as KIWIN’S and Key Club helps students become eligible for awards that acknowledge what they do to serve others.


Online resources are important options in searching for scholarships. is a popular site that helps find applications based on interests and involvement among the many other categories of criteria.


Simple ways to receive money for college are with easy applications such as from the Teens for Jeans Scholarship due February 12. Students sign up and donate gently used jeans to any local Aéropostale store.


Local businesses award money as well. Ronald McDonald House Charities’ HACER Scholarship gives money to seniors of Hispanic heritage. The Allstate Foundation’s Keep the Drive High School Journalism Award is available to any high school student interested in writing.


Senior Jinan Mannaa was recently awarded a scholarship. “I received the award from the Young Women’s Empowerment Conference held at Cal State Long Beach for an essay that I wrote,” Mannaa said. “I also like how the school offers more opportunities with the Local Scholarship.”


Scholarship requirements can range from gender to ethnicity, so it is important to spend time on applications that are a best fit for the individual.

Free money is out in the community, but it requires the time and effort to look for and earn. Applications sometimes require recommendations, so it is important to have plenty of time to complete necessary forms.

Junior Christina Lee Gibbs has already begun searching for scholarships. “If you start looking early it is like getting a second chance. You begin to alleviate some of the stress that goes with applying to college,” Gibbs said. “Most scholarships require significant pieces of work that you cannot easily complete in a week.”

Receiving free money can ease the worry that lingers throughout senior year about applying and being accepted to college. As early as freshman year, students should be involved in school and the community to better their chances as being strong competitors in any group of applicants.