Hardy Telecommunications is again sponsoring a $2,500 college scholarship for graduating seniors from East Hardy and Moorefield high schools.
Members of the Class of 2020 at EHHS and MHS can apply through Hardy for the national Foundation for Rural Service College Scholarship Program. The scholarship, open to applicants who receive local telecommunications service (either telephone, Internet, or television) from Hardy, is worth $2,000, and Hardy Telecommunications will contribute an additional $500 to the amount, bringing the total one-time scholarship award to $2,500.
The Foundation for Rural Service has changed its application process this year so that the entire application is done online. Students can visit their guidance counselors at the two high schools for the guidelines detailing how to apply. Students will need to go to www.frs.org/student and create an account with NTCA per the instructions there.
Completed applications must be submitted online to the Foundation for Rural Service no later than March 6, 2020.
To apply, students will need to submit a 500-800 word essay; a letter of recommendation (Educator’s Statement) from a high school teacher or counselor; a letter of recommendation from a local community leader other than an educator; and seven semesters of transcripts. FRS urges applicants to have all of their documents ready to upload before beginning the application.
Students no longer have to return any paperwork to Hardy Telecommunications.
The FRS will award scholarships nationwide. A qualified selection committee of current educators determined by the Foundation for Rural Service will select the winners; Hardy Telecommunications itself has no input in the selection process.
Derek Barr, Hardy director of customer service and sales, marketing and human resources, stressed that the scholarship is a national scholarship, so Hardy Telecommunications can’t guarantee that any local student will be selected. Hardy simply sponsors local applications and agrees to contribute $500 of the total $2,500 amount if the national FRS committee does pick a Hardy County student.
“The scholarship selection is divided into regions, and the Foundation for Rural Service does make sure that scholarships are awarded in every region. But West Virginia is still in a region with several other states, so it’s a very competitive process,” he said.
Hardy Telecommunications’ last recipient of the FRS College Scholarship was 2017 East Hardy High graduate Caitlin Fitzwater.
“Because of how the process works and the nationwide competition, we don’t have recipients selected more often than we are notified that we have a winner, but we’re happy to offer this unique opportunity and hope to present this scholarship to a Hardy County student,” Derek said.
Local applicants must be a U.S. citizen and graduating high school senior; accepted by an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school; have at least a C grade point average; express an interest in returning to a rural community following graduation; and be sponsored by Hardy Telecommunications, a member of NTCA.
Established in 1994 by NTCA – the Rural Broadband Association, the Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes, educates and advocates rural telecom issues in order to sustain and enhance the quality of life within communities throughout rural America. Read more about FRS youth programs by visiting www.frs.org.