Richard Cooper: 50 years supporting Northampton students

Northampton High School

Northampton High School GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Published: 05-24-2024 2:37 PM

Modified: 05-24-2024 8:13 PM

On May 14, the Northampton High School Auditorium was host to the 50th Scholarship Awards Ceremony, organized by Northampton Dollars for Scholars, a momentous occasion not just for the organization but for our entire community. The event marks a significant milestone in our journey of supporting local graduates, reflecting on how far we’ve progressed since our inception in 1974.

The inaugural ceremony, half a century ago in 1974, where four local students were awarded scholarships totaling $1,100, laid the foundation for what has now become a tradition of generosity and support. Fast-forward to the present day, and we’re proud to announce the awarding of 199 scholarships totaling $156,450 this year. These numbers speak volumes about the unwavering commitment of our community toward nurturing the dreams and aspirations of our youth.

Behind these numbers lie countless stories of individuals who are dedicated to ensure that our students have the support to continue their education beyond high school. It’s heartening to see the many legacy scholarships, funded by our neighbors in memory of their loved ones, enriching the lives of students year after year. People like Kay Sheehan, Patrick Phillips, Gus Serio, Mo Mahar, Peter Kocot, and many others have left an indelible mark on our community.

As we celebrate this remarkable milestone, we extend our deepest gratitude to the founders who laid the groundwork for this noble cause and to all those who have continued to champion it over the years. The Northampton chapter of Dollars for Scholars remains steadfast in its commitment to being the “the community behind our students.” With over 4,100 awards and over $2.2 million disbursed in scholarships to student residents of Northampton, Florence and Leeds, we reaffirm our pledge to support the educational pursuits of our youth for years to come.

In a world where the value of education cannot be overstated, initiatives like Dollars for Scholars serve as beacons of hope, empowering students to reach for the stars. As a community, let us take pride in our collective achievements and renew our commitment to nurturing the potential of the next generation.

Richard Cooper

 Northampton Dollars for Scholars
board member, Florence

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