Every May, Camp Verde High School holds an awards ceremony to honor our seniors and their plans for the future. During this ceremony our seniors will collectively earn approximately $400,000 in scholarship awards. More importantly, they will earn the confidence and peace of mind that comes from the knowledge that college is now a reality, not just a vague possibility in a foggy future. While the ceremony is still months away, the work that needs to be done to reap its rewards begins now and continues through mid April.
The scholarship awards available to students target a variety of needs and talents. Many awards, like the Arizona Elks Most Valuable Student and Camp Verde Healing Arts, recognize students with exceptional academic achievement. Others, like the Salt River Group and Jerome Elks Lodge awards, are tailored to hard-working students who demonstrate a particular financial need. Still others, such as the Quintus and Verde Valley Rangers scholarships, support students who demonstrate outstanding leadership, character and service. Some scholarships focus on students who express a particular career path or are enrolling in a Tech school, as is the case with the Elks Vocational and Verde Valley Rotary vocational scholarships. Our community should be proud of the generosity of its clubs and businesses.
Thoughtful, polished essays, reflecting the students' goals, values, and experience, make up the centerpiece of the scholarship application. Students may rely on their personal teachers or those working in the tutoring lab to help develop these essays. Students should also seek letters of recommendation from teachers and community members who have had the opportunity to observe the student's strengths and talents. If you have been impressed by your interactions with a CVHS student, offer to write him or her a letter of recommendation. These letters can be an integral part of the successful application.
Of course, most students do not entirely fund their post-secondary education through scholarships. Most do, in fact, seek to supplement their scholarship earnings through financial aid. The first step to obtaining financial aid is for the student's parent or legal guardian to complete and submit a FAFSA form, which determines the level of eligibility for federally and state funded programs. Mr. Buckley will conduct his annual workshop helping parents and students through this process in February. Also, there are a variety of Financial Aid Fair days hosted by nearby colleges. Embry Riddle is offering College Goal Sunday on Feb. 8 at its Prescott campus. Contact Mr. Buckley, a counselor at CVHS, for further information regarding special financial aid events.
Of all the celebrations that highlight the spring semester at CVHS, I most look forward to the Awards Ceremony. This ceremony acknowledges the terrific work the students have completed and shines a light on the exciting futures awaiting so many of them. If you have or are close to a student attending CVHS, please encourage him or her to begin the hard work of preparing financially for college right now.