Every year, high school seniors prepare to embark upon the next chapters of their lives. For many, this means applying for scholarships, grants, and financial aid. TTCF, through the grace of its donors, awards various scholarships to help students pay for higher education. The significance of these scholarships does not merely hold weight in dollars, however. Scholarships demonstrate a community’s belief in a student’s efforts and potential, and they contribute as much to an individual’s confidence and self worth as they do to their college fund.
North Tahoe’s Jack Blackmon, recipient of the 2014 Ed Plaut Jr. Scholarship, recently sent our office a thank you note in the midst of his studies of dance and choreography at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Not a fervent lover of winter recreation, Jack recognized early on that his “goals and aspirations were strikingly different from many of his peers.” At an age where a young person walks a thin line between fitting in and defining their individuality, Jack often felt it difficult to give voice to his dreams.
Throughout his childhood and adolescence, however, Jack always felt the unconditional support of his community, and it was his friends, neighbors, and mentors that encouraged him to pursue his love of music and art into his undergraduate studies.
Jack applied for TTCF scholarships that awarded students pursuing the humanities. He writes, “Receiving the Ed Plaut Jr. Scholarship was probably one of the most gratifying achievements for me. The scholarship made me learn and appreciate how much I am supported by the community that has been integral to the person I have become.”
Jack honors the positive influence that his community and mentors play in his life by using his skills and time to teach young dancers and to volunteer at community events. After finishing finals, Jack will travel home to his family, teach two master classes at his home dance studios, and volunteer at the annual coat drive and with Tahoe City PUD and the Kiwanis.
“Ultimately,” Jack says, “I want to be as open-minded and supportive as the place in which I grew up.”
TTCF offers seven needs-based scholarships annually, awarding over $100,000 a year to local high school students continuing on to undergraduate studies. If you are interested in contributing to the higher education of our youth, learn more about starting a scholarship here. If you are a student, read about the scholarships for which you might qualify.