By Jim Giammarinaro
President & CEO of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
FRAMINGHAM – The MetroWest Chamber Educational Foundation Scholarships were established to assist public and private high school seniors who reside in the MetroWest area and wish to continue their education beyond high school, whether in college, vocational or technical schools. Students attending schools in the following communities can apply for scholarships: Ashland, Bellingham, Dover, Framingham, Franklin, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Marlborough, Medfield, Medway, Millis, Milford, Natick, Northborough, Sherborn, Southborough, Sudbury, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, and Westborough.
Four categories of scholarships are offered. The scholarship categories are:
The Arcadius, Emma & Robert Lemieux Scholarship was established to assist seniors in public or private high schools in the MetroWest area who wish to continue their education beyond high school, whether in college, vocational or technical schools, but are unable to do so due to
financial difficulties not of their own cause. Awards will be up to $1,000 per student. This scholarship is generously donated by the Lemieux family every year.
The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce STEM Scholarship was established to assist public or private high school seniors who reside in the MetroWest area and wish to continue their education beyond high school, whether in college, vocational or technical schools, with
a focus on science, technology, engineering, or math. Awards will be up to $1,000. The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce, through fundraising events including the annual golf outing and soon-to-be rescheduled hockey tournament, raises money for this scholarship every year.
The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce DOUG FLUTIE, JR. FOUNDATION FOR AUTISM Scholarship was established to assist public or private high school seniors with an autism or autism spectrum disorder diagnosis who reside in the MetroWest area and wish to continue
their education beyond high school, whether in college, vocational or technical schools. Awards will be up to $1,000. The Foundation generously donates to this scholarship every year.
The MetroWest Chamber of Commerce Inclusion Scholarship was established to assist public or private high school seniors with a physical or intellectual disability who reside in the MetroWest area and wish to continue their education beyond high school, whether in college, vocational or technical schools. Award will be $1,000.
Hundreds of applications from graduating high school seniors are received every spring.
Personal essays are submitted by each and their stories are moving and impactful.
A scholarship committee reviews each application, reads every essay, and makes the difficult decision of who will receive a scholarship that year.
The year is capped off with a Scholarship Reception, hosted by Staples.
Prior to the pandemic, award winners, their families, and the MetroWest Chamber community celebrated with an evening of great food, while recognizing the accomplishments of each student.
Last spring, with COVID surging, local students did their best to maintain their schoolwork while dealing with the extra stress of dealing with a pandemic. Students were home from school, waiting for direction from their school districts on how the last few months would go. Remote
learning was the only options for students while in person learning was put on hold.
Parents scrambled to help their children find resources and supplies to continue to try and learn through very difficult and challenging times.
High school seniors tried to focus on college applications while dealing with the uncertainty of schools being open in the fall. Many should have been enjoying some of the best times of their lives; graduation ceremonies and parties, prom, and the last summer with friends before leaving for college.
But COVID changed all of that and many students didn’t know how their freshman year of college would go. Many continued to plan for their future and applied for scholarships. They really demonstrated how resilient they were.
Last year, the MetroWest Chamber Education Foundation awarded eight scholarships to local MetroWest high school seniors going to colleges and universities around the country.
A virtual scholarship reception was hosted by MassBay Community College. Members of the MetroWest legislative delegation, MetroWest chamber members, and scholarship award winners celebrated their achievements. Although we could not meet in person, it was very meaningful to hear the students essays and how they got through the last few months of their senior year.
Every June, the MetroWest Chamber Education Foundation hosts its annual Golf Outing at the Framingham Country Club. Last year, the event was cancelled due to COVID.
The previous year in 2019, the MetroWest Chamber, Framingham Rotary, and the MetroWest YMCA, collaborated for a joint event to raise money for each organization’s educational foundation. The event was a great success, with over one hundred golfers participating and ending the evening with a delicious meal, networking, silent auction and raffle winners being announced. Each organization raised enough money to award numerous scholarships for MetroWest youth. We will continue collaborating this year with these organizations and will hold the event on June 28, 2021 at the Framingham Country Club.
To add to our potential fundraising, the MetroWest Education Foundation will plan a hockey tournament with proceeds going to fund additional scholarships.
Last year’s tournament was postponed due to COVID, however we will schedule this event as soon as we can gather in person. Teams were created with a mixture of talent to create a fun night of watching hockey and networking.
We look forward to making this happen as soon as we can. This year, the MetroWest Chamber Education Foundation will again award scholarships in the four categories listed above. We hope to gather in person. If not, we will recognize local youth for their accomplishments and support those pursuing higher education.
Editor’s Note: SOURCE and the MetroWest Chamber have formed a partnership. The Chamber’s column will run on Tuesdays on the digital news media outlet.