Educational Foundation Awards More Than $275,000 in Scholarships

September 2, 2009
The Montgomery County Schools (MCPS) Educational Foundation, Inc. has concluded its FY 2010 scholarship program, awarding more than $275,000 in scholarships to financially needy MCPS graduates, as well as students in their second year of college. With the help of state legislators representing Montgomery County, including delegates and senators, the Foundation awarded 116 scholarships to graduating Montgomery County high school students and second year college students in need of financial assistance.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of applications this year and anticipate that number will grow in the future,” said MCPS Chief Operating Officer Larry Bowers. “We are appreciative of the support of so many Montgomery County legislators who have worked with the Foundation to help graduating seniors have a chance at a college education.”

For more than a decade, the MCPS Educational Foundation has been helping County students with partial and full scholarships. The majority of the scholarships are for students who attend Montgomery College. Some students have received funding for other state universities and colleges including University of Maryland locations at College Park, Baltimore County, and Eastern Shore.

The Foundation’s scholarship program got its start as a result of a fundraising event honoring Dr. Paul Vance, former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools, at his retirement.

“We raised a good amount of money for scholarships at that time and have worked hard to build on the legacy that Paul Vance created…but the work continues. There are so many more needy students that our limited funding can’t accommodate,” said Esther Gelman, a founder of the MCPS Educational Foundation. “We are always looking for additional funding to meet the growing needs for post secondary education for these low income students, most of whom are working night and weekend jobs while attending school.”

The scholarship program allows academically successful but financially needy graduating students an opportunity to have an education that will provide them with opportunities for a successful future and career.

A college education is the continuation of the student’s primary and secondary education. The Foundation takes the responsibility to help these children where taxpayer-funded education ends.

The MCPS Educational Foundation also awards scholarships on behalf of a number of private family foundations including the Sniper Victim Fund, established in 2003, and others. A number of scholarship winners have gone on to earn degrees from four-year institutions and enter graduate school. Montgomery College provides special help and support to scholarship recipients.

The MCPS Educational Foundation, which was founded in 1989, has as an objective that no student should forego a higher education for financial reasons. To qualify for an Educational Foundation scholarship, students must graduate from a Montgomery County high school and must show financial need. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships in addition to more than $900,000 in grants.

The Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation also provides funds for special and innovative MCPS programs that the annual school budget cannot support, including technology grants, funding for special equipment, and programs for at-risk students. MCPS serves approximately 142,000 students in 200 school buildings, making it the largest school system in Maryland and the 16th largest school system in the nation.

About the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation
The Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Educational Foundation, Inc. is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization that receives funds from charitable foundations, government granting agencies, cooperative businesses, estates of deceased persons, and helpful citizens. With those funds, the Foundation carefully awards scholarships to graduating seniors and funds to MCPS staff for projects designed to support their programs. You can learn more about the foundation at

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