Senior Institute helps a fellow senior

Maddie Morelli, Sports Editor

Senior Institute has created a scholarship fund to help a fellow senior in financial need. As the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tough impact on nearly everyone, Senior Institute is doing what they can to make a difference within the community. The class is dedicated towards bettering the school and outside community through various projects, which has looked different this year due to the pandemic.

“Our class this year decided that we wanted to have more of a direct difference in our school this year. We wanted to see the difference we were making with a fellow student,” Senior Institute member Sadie Belsky said. 

The goal of the scholarship, called the Senior Institute Class of 2021 Support Fund, is to help a student in financial need. However, unlike most other traditional scholarships, the student does not have to be attending a post-secondary school to receive it; Senior Institute is simply looking for this money to help a student have a successful future.

“Our guidelines are a student demonstrating financial need. Someone that’s looking to use the money to benefit their future, it doesn’t have to be post-secondary school,” Senior Institute member Mia Johnson said. 

The seniors this year had to get creative. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senior Institute class has had a history of holding a fundraiser to raise money for a specific cause within the community. The pandemic has presented many obstacles within fundraising for nearly all clubs. This year, the seniors are working with Claysburg Pizza and fundraising through selling strombolis, pizzas, and cinnamon rolls. 

“The fundraising has been a bit difficult trying to overcome COVID-19 restrictions, with the Senior Institute not being able to host our typical spaghetti dinners or dog walk. However, we have overcome that and are raising money to the best of our ability,” Mia said. 

Despite the obstacles within fundraising, the seniors in the class have worked extremely hard to meet their $1,500 scholarship goal, and they did exactly that. 

“The fundraising is going so well. We just turned in our first fundraiser and the turnout is looking great so far,” Sadie said. 

In a year of so many unknowns, and so much negativity, the members of Senior Institute are doing what they can to make a positive impact on not just their school, but their community as well. The consideration that they have for their fellow seniors shows that they want to make a difference. 

“We came up with the idea because we understand the impact this year has had on everyone and we wanted to do something to help locally, specifically the people closest to us in the senior class,” Mia said. “We have truly persevered and tried to make the best of our situation, still being able to raise money and become a close Senior Institute class determined to help our community.”

To apply for the Senior Institute scholarship, the applicant must qualify as a student with financial need. Other than the financial requirements, an essay about the hardships the applicant has overcome must also be submitted. All information can be found within the Senior Awards Book in the senior awards section of the Bellefonte Area School District page.