Local high school seniors awarded thousands in scholarships

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Submitted photo
Justice Forester, with his parents by his side, receiving his scholarship check from the Salem Kiwanis Club. The Glenvar High graduate will attend Virginia Tech in the fall.

How am I going to cover my school expenses?

What is the lowest interest rate I can get? Which loan provider should I choose? Those are some of the questions that millions of teenagers seek answers to every year. Research indicates that it takes the average college graduate 21 years to pay off their student loans.

There are over 300 Salem seniors that will be attending college or trade school in the fall. Many of them have received scholarships to help cover their expenses.

The Salem Kiwanis Club is an organization that supports teenagers through the Key Club, a high school Kiwanis group. Three students were awarded a combined $4,000. Salem High graduate Alyssa Martin, who will be attending Longwood University, received $1,500. Future Virginia Tech Hokie and Glenvar graduate Justice Forester also received $1,500. The Bill Gore Scholarship, named after a beloved member who passed away last year, was given to Matthew Reed who will be attending William & Mary College.

“College has gotten increasingly expensive, and I believe scholarships help to defray these costs. So many students today are graduating with crushing debt, which is why we wanted to do what we can to support them,” said Susan Mini, who serves on the Salem Kiwanis Club Board of Directors. “We have so many blessings, and being able to attend an institute of higher learning is just one of them. College students should be cognizant of this and give back where they can with their time and talents to help our communities and the next generation.”

On Tuesday, June 4, during Community Scholarship Night, approximately 110 seniors received more than $170,000 in scholarship money from various endowments of the Salem Educational Foundation & Alumni Association.

Comcast NBCUniversal recently announced that it awarded approximately $82,500 in scholarships to 30 Virginia students as part of its annual Leaders and Achievers® Scholarship Program. Abigail Coleman of Salem High School was named a recipient and received $7,500.

“Our Leaders and Achievers scholarship winners are exceptional students who are committed to thriving in their academic excellence and community service,” said Mary McLaughlin, Senior Vice President of Comcast’s Beltway Region. “We are honored to recognize their achievements and excited to support them as they continue their educational journeys.”

Salem Kiwanis Club President Paul Dotson says the scholarship money given to students can be used any way they see fit.