The Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation is accepting applications now from students for the Dr. Adrian R. Lawler Exchange Student Scholarship, offering students attending Oak Ridge public schools or recent graduates support for participating in international study programs.
Lawler, an Oak Ridge High School graduate who was the second student here to participate in an American Field Service international exchange program, established the scholarship to offer students opportunities to gain tolerance and understanding of people from other cultures through international study programs.
Lawler, who died more than a year ago, was a retired marine scientist living in Mississippi when he designated the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation to administer the scholarship with a five-member scholarship committee. The foundation awarded the first two Lawler scholarships in 2008 to college students who were participating in international study programs.
The deadline for submitting the application is March 7, 2014. Applications may be picked up at the Oak Ridge High School counseling office. Applicants may also call Jenna Whitney, executive director of the Oak Ridge Public Schools Education Foundation, at (865) 241-3667, or e-mail her at [email protected] to request an application.
Students attending Oak Ridge schools and graduates of ORHS currently attending college are eligible for the scholarship. The scholarship will not usually provide total funding, but instead encourage students to earn part of their funding as a life lesson. Exceptions may be made for students who are disabled or whose financial situation makes personal funding a hardship, according to scholarship criteria.
The scholarship provides funds for learning or educational trips either during the school year or during the summer. The scholarship won’t fund vacation or sightseeing trips. Discretionary funding will be available, with the approval of the scholarship committee, for attending or sponsoring international meetings designed to further a better understanding of other cultures or peoples. The minimum scholarship award this year will be $500.
Students must have a grade point average of B+, or 3.50, to be eligible for the award. The Scholarship Committee will seek applications that include a one-page essay, a brief resume, three references, and other qualifying information. The committee will take the character of the student into account in making decisions and will look for students who have demonstrated an independent nature and an interest in international affairs.
First priority will be given, in the following order, to high school seniors, high school graduates prior to going to college, high school juniors, students enrolled in college, high school sophomores, freshmen, middle school students, and elementary students. Students may request scholarship funds for an established exchange student program, such as AFS or Oak Ridge Sister City program, or for informal study abroad programs. Special consideration will be given to AFS students.
The Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 2000, provides funds beyond public tax dollars for education, raising funds through grants and private donations to invest in enhanced educational programming, innovative technology, and state-of-the-art facilities for teachers and students. For more information, see the foundation’s web site at www.orpsef.org.