More Than $525,000 Will Help Students Follow Their Dreams

Thanks to the generosity of area donors and the hard work of volunteer committees, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation awarded over 200 scholarships totaling $525,470 this year. Bright, young students from Berkshire, northwest Litchfield, Columbia and northeast Dutchess counties will use these awards — which range from $1,000 to $25,000 annually — to pursue their dreams in a variety of fields, including science, art, humanities and trade skills. View our list of 2017 scholarship recipients.

As the costs of school and materials rise, every fund provides an important gift that allows these students to focus on their future with the support and inspiration of their communities. Here are just a handful of stories from this year’s scholarship recipients whose lives will be positively impacted by the donations of area residents.

Joseph Hunter of Chatham, N.Y., received a grant from the Emma M. Kirchhofer Scholarship Fund. He is attending the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with a major in environmental resources engineering. “I discovered that with rising college tuition costs, scholarships are increasingly important for students, and I am no exception,” he said. “The Emma M. Kirchhofer Scholarship was an important factor in ensuring the feasibility of my attendance at SUNY-ESF. I hope that you will continue to help other students as you have so dearly helped me.”

Maya Finston-Fox, one of 20 recipients of the McLaughlin-Wilson Scholarship, is attending Baldwin Wallace University, where she is working toward a degree in political science and diversity studies. “As a young woman of color who grew up in a home with two moms, I have lived and experienced firsthand the challenges of discrimination, difference and racism. It is my goal to prepare myself to engage in advocacy and community change efforts to support inclusion and equality for all people,” she said. “This is a generous gift that I will value and pay forward through my future endeavors. Thank you for this scholarship and your investment in the people of this community, and investment in me.”

Matthew Brown, another McLaughlin-Wilson scholar, plans to study woodworking and furniture design at Maine College of Art. “I can now develop my skills at a place that inspires me and pushes me to go further with my work,” he said. “I never thought my career path would be involved in art. These last two years in high school have made that path clearer, and I know what I want to do with my life. Thank you so much for this opportunity to follow this path.”

Kayla Agostini of Amenia, N.Y., has one career goal in mind: becoming a social worker. With assistance from the Thomas J. Berlinghoff Scholarship, she is beginning her studies at Dutchess Community College and will ultimately pursue a master’s degree. “This scholarship opportunity gave me hope that I can get anything I set my heart to. I'm so honored and proud of myself and humbled,” she said. “I can't thank you enough for making my stressful but exciting journey of college easier because I know I'll have support under my belt.”

Visit our website to learn more about scholarships or to make a donation.

Maya

Maya Finston-Fox, one of 20 recipients of the McLaughlin-Wilson Scholarship, is attending Baldwin Wallace University.

Joseph

Joseph Hunter of Chatham, N.Y., received a grant from the Emma M. Kirchhofer Scholarship Fund.