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By Cassie Knust, Delta County Independent, May 24, 2022
DC CARES … awarded scholarships to three graduating seniors for their “unique” and community-oriented responses to the DC Cares’ first scholarship application…
The grassroots coalition, operating under The Learning Council, received 11 applications since announcing the scholarship in February, according to Marisa Edmondson, organizer and co-founder.
“I thought it was super, super exciting, especially for our first year,” Edmondson said. “I feel like even scholarships that have been around for quite a few years sometimes don’t get more than 15 applicants. It was such a hard decision. They were all so good and I wanted to give money to all of them.”
The 11 applicants ranged in diversity across Delta County, including North Fork and Cedaredge. The coalition received applications from LGBTQ+ students in the county, as well as first generation and Black, Indigenous and students of color.
Each students’ essay touched on identity-related challenges in school, according to Edmondson. She added that while their experiences weren’t surprising, it was good to receive data from students the group hadn’t previously heard from…
Edmondson expressed excitement for the coalition’s first scholarship success–and already the board is looking at increasing funds for next years’ scholarship. Ideally, she added, DC Cares will be able to add more than three scholarships next year.
“The students touching on all of those hardships, to some degree that they went through because of their identity just really, I think, affirmed for all of us at DC Cares how important this work is,” said Edmondson.
DC Cares is made up of businesses, individuals and organizations who share concerns about inclusivity and equity in Delta County. Membership fees are based on the size of the business/organization/individual and range from $50 to $150. Fees constitute most of the scholarship fund, which means that more members expand the scholarship pool, Edmondson said.