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The Kiwanis Club Connects M-A Students with Scholarships

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Scholarship winners from 2017. Credit: Menlo Park Kiwanis Club

Last year, the Kiwanis Club, a nonprofit in Menlo Park, awarded six M-A students $60,000 as part of their annual scholarship program. The year before that, 11 students were awarded a total of $80,500 in scholarships. 

For 41 years, the Kiwanis Club has given a combined total of $1.2 million in college scholarships to M-A seniors. Unlike many other scholarships, the Kiwanis scholarship does not require students to submit lengthy essays, instead, it focuses on students’ community and service involvement. 

For students who are not planning to attend a traditional four-year college, the scholarship can be used for community college tuition or other educational opportunities. 

The president of the Kiwanis Club Louise DeDara said, “The scholarship takes into account how rigorous the applicant’s courses are, but mainly prioritizes students who need the financial assistance the most. If the student does not wish to attend a four-year college, they can still utilize the scholarship money for other educational purposes like trade school, community colleges, and much more. ” 

Every spring, school counselors will report to the organization their student recommendations for the scholarships. Students can also reach out to the club through their Instagram and email to further their application process. 

Club member John Martin says, “Surprisingly I haven’t seen that many M-A students utilize our scholarship program. Last year only 7 students applied.”  

Many students have never heard about this financial opportunity. Junior Juni Mitra says, “I’m super surprised that there’s a scholarship of this kind out there for only M-A students because, through my time at M-A, I’ve never heard of this opportunity before.” 

Junior Christian Gutierrez shares a similar experience to Mitra, saying, “I never knew about the Kiwanis Scholarship, but I’m glad I did because it’s definitely something that I’m going to apply to my senior year. I believe that scholarships like these should be spotlighted for M-A students.” 

Akemi Kwan is a sophomore in her first year of journalism. Her stories can range from restaurant reviews to covering events, opinions, and opportunities surrounding M-A's community. Akemi is on M-A's debate team and loves to read and catch up on current events.

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