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More than $23,000 in scholarships available through Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 7:51 p.m.

Attention college-bound, money-strapped members of the Pine-Richland High School Class of 2013.

More than $23,000 in scholarships is available to Pine-Richland High School seniors through the nonprofit Pine-Richland Opportunities Fund (PROF).

Aspiring actors and dancers, for example, might wish to pursue the $5,000 Jeff Calhoun Performing Arts Award established by Calhoun, a 1978 Richland High School graduate turned-Broadway choreographer.

Other scholarships exclusively available to Pine-Richland High School seniors include: the $6,000 Gallagher-Lynn Scholarship; the $5,000 Ruth V. Mattison/Ruth Lefevre Long Memorial Scholarship ($1,250 per year for four years); the $3,000 King Family Scholarship; the $1,000 Pasquinelli Insurance Scholarship; the $1,000 Richland Civic Club/Opportunities Scholarship; the $1,000 Scott Crawford Memorial Scholarship; and the $1,000 Team Alex Fund Scholarship.

PROF, an independent community group, offers the scholarships through a combination of fundraising efforts and donations by individuals and families.

“We can thank a lot of parents and community business leaders for being generous,” said Rachel Hathhorn, director of communications for Pine-Richland School District. “Some people donate through the United Way.”

New this year is the $1,000 Team Alex Fund Scholarship established by Brian McWilliams — a 2012 Pine-Richland High School graduate — to reward a volunteer or participant in the annual Team Alex 5K Run/Run through North Park.

McWilliams started the fundraising run in 2010 to benefit the paralyzed son of a favorite teacher.

The Team Alex Fund, a nonprofit organization established by McWilliams, now raises money to help young people with spinal cord injuries and illnesses.

Classmates established the $1,000 Scott Crawford Memorial Scholarship to honor the late Class of 1988 valedictorian at Pine-Richland High School. Crawford died of cancer, said Hathhorn, a member of the Class of 1988.

“We wanted his memory to live on,” Hathhorn said.

Jean Whalen, director of collegiate affairs for Pine-Richland School District, spoke at the Feb. 11 meeting of Pine-Richland School Board on the increasing need for college-bound students to use such scholarships.

Whalen said it now costs $55,000 per year to attend Carnegie-Mellon University, and $65,000 per year to attend the most expensive U.S. college — Sarah Lawrence College in Yonkers, N.Y.

“I spend most of the year on scholarships,” Whalen said about her job of helping students map their career plans and college educations. “I feel my job is to educate students about opportunities.”

Last year, graduating seniors at Pine-Richland High School collectively won more than $8.5 million in scholarships, compared to the approximately $1.2 million in scholarships earned by the school district's Class of 2009, according to Whalen.

Applications for the PROF scholarships — due April 19 — are available online at www.pinerichland.org/prof. Questions can be sent to PROF scholarship fund chairman Laureen Foster at profscholarship@pinerichland.org.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

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