IWLA to offer scholarships

Published 10:47 pm Monday, January 22, 2018

College students that have a passion for the environment have the opportunity for $2,000 to go towards their education.

The Suffolk-Nansemond Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America is offering two scholarships for current college students or high school students that have been accepted into an accredited institution. It is the highest amount the chapter has ever been able to offer.

Every year the prize money has gone up, and this year the board of directors agreed to raise the scholarship to two $2,000 awards. The funds come from different fundraising efforts.

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“We are a nonprofit so the funds come out of our budget. We do fundraising for this,” said Tim Doxey, media representative for the Nansemond-Suffolk IWLA. “It’s one of our line items that we try and do at least one scholarship. Sometimes, we will have a scholarship raffle, which we had last year. That’s primarily where it comes from, is the tickets to the raffle.”

Before receiving the money, students have to meet a short list of requirements. Applicants must be in good academic standing and be pursuing an “appropriate course of study,” according to the application.

“Well basically what we are looking for, because we are a conservation organization, we are looking for environmental sciences. Most of the kids have already shown us transcripts and are currently or will be in the program,” Doxey said.

Along with the grades and the passion for the environmental sciences, students applying should have strong moral character and a resume full of extracurricular activities. These are evaluated through the resume and the two reference letters that applicants submit.

“We have had applications where kids haven’t ever had a job or participated in extracurricular activities, and you get those generic letters of recommendation,” said David Perdue, scholarship chairman. “Last year’s winner, the essay came across as very committed, already involved and changed their lives with environmental conservation.

Applications can be submitted to the IWLA chapter from Feb. 1 to April 1, and from there it will go to a committee for rankings. The committee takes about a week to go through all the applications and decide to whom they want to award the scholarships, according to Perdue.

The board gets the final say at the first meeting in May, and from there the students will be notified via email and phone whether they won or not.

“We enjoy doing it. You hear about all these problems with kids, and it’s great to see the involvement and interest in these kids,” Perdue said. “These last few meetings, James Trommatter said with all the hair pulling as treasurer, the happiest thing he does is write the checks out for the scholarships.”

Full applications can be submitted electronically to the chapter mailbox, suffolknansemondiwla@gmail.com, or as a hard copy to P.O. Box 351, Suffolk, VA 23439.

For more information, contact the scholarship chairman, David Perdue, at davidperdue@yahoo.com.