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Chelsea Education Foundation Opens Scholarship Application Window

The Chelsea Education Foundation (CEF) is accepting scholarship applications through April 30, 2021. The CEF offers 15 scholarships to Chelsea High School graduating seniors and/or current college students living within the Chelsea School District.

In 2020, CEF awarded over $29,000 in scholarship monies. Since 1990, over 900 students have received scholarships from CEF to further their educational goals.

Lynn Fox, Chelsea Education Foundation board president, said the organization has been fortunate to be the recipient of funding for various scholarships.

“Individuals and business owners, who understand the importance of support for Chelsea area students to further their education, have allowed the Foundation to act as a pass-through to help those students. The endowments established for the CEF-funded scholarships have grown over the 30 years the organization has been in existence. These endowments are important to our ability to provide scholarships.”

Many of the scholarships offered honor Chelsea community members, including the Joseph Piasecki Memorial Scholarship, named for the Chelsea School District superintendent who started the CEF in 1990. The Joel Gentz Memorial Leadership and Service Scholarship is named for Gentz, a 2002 Chelsea High School and Air Force lieutenant who died during a rescue mission.

Other scholarships are career specific. The Chelsea Family Dentistry Scholarship and the Mary Merkel Memorial Nursing Scholarship provide for students pursuing a degree in a healthcare field. The Chelsea Rod and Gun Club Scholarship is aimed towards students interested in hunting, fishing, conservation, shooting sports, or other outdoor related activities. As its name implies, the CEF Engineering, Computer Science, or Accounting Scholarship is open to applicants pursuing a degree in any of those fields.

While many scholarships are geared toward traditional four-year college students, the CEF is pleased to offer awards for those pursuing skilled trade careers or skilled training, such as the Chelsea Education Foundation Academic Scholarship and The Brian McGrath Memorial Scholarship.

Others are designed for the non-traditional student or students already enrolled in a course of study, rather than a newly-minted graduating senior. While other scholarships were set up for applicants who have shown acts of kindness or have participated in community service projects.

The process of applying is easy and Fox encourages applicants to take a look at the Foundation website to see what is available. The deadline is April 30, 2021. And then, the review process begins.

“We have a wonderful group of scholarship reviewers who rank each essay,” Fox said.

“I'd say that one never knows what will stand out in an essay that will bring a high ranking score for one essay over another. Those reviewers don't know whose essay they are reading since all identifying information is redacted.”

She cautions against using the same essay for more than one application, noting that it usually results in a lower rank, because each scholarship has its own specific requirements.

“There is no ‘one size fits all’ when applying.”

Fox says the best part of the whole process is Class Night, the evening when scholarships are announced.

“It’s an exciting event — pre-pandemic, of course. It's gratifying to read thank you notes that show how impactful a scholarship can be for a student.”

Scholarships provided by the Chelsea Education Foundation

Complete scholarship information can be found at the CEF website:

  • The Joseph Piasecki Memorial Scholarship

  • Chelsea Education Foundation Academic Scholarship

  • Chelsea Education Foundation Community Service Scholarship

  • Chelsea Education Foundation Engineering, Computer Science, or Accounting Scholarship

  • The Jillian Lea Drow Memorial Scholarship

  • The Brian McGrath Memorial Scholarship

  • The Chelsea Rod and Gun Club Scholarship

  • The Robert W. Wagner Engineering Scholarship

  • The Judith Lynn Wagner Owens Teacher Scholarship

  • The Mary Merkel Memorial Nursing Scholarship

  • The Doris Schumacher/A. Henry Schumacher Memorial Scholarship

  • Continuing Education CEF Scholarship for Non-Traditional or Returning Students

  • The Joel Gentz Memorial Leadership and Service Scholarship

  • Female in Finance Scholarship

  • Chelsea Family Dentistry Scholarship

The Chelsea Education Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3. Organized in 1990, the mission of CEF is to enhance the Chelsea School District's educational experiences by financing projects beyond the resources of the district and by providing scholarships to district graduates. Since its inception over 46,000 students have received benefits from the foundation, 600 grant programs have been funded ranging from art installations to robotics programs, and over 900 scholarships have been awarded to students with outstanding achievement.

Photo: 2020 CEF Scholarship recipients Olivia Prodin and Reagan Lehman

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