Community foundation hits new high for grant awards

The Martha's Vineyard Community Foundation announced a new round of grants. —Martha's Vineyard Community Foun

The Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation (MVCF) has announced $365,000 in awards to support educational pursuits of 86 Islanders. The foundation says it’s a record amount for them.

“This year’s scholarship funding of $365,000 is our largest total in the history of the foundation, thanks to the generosity of our donors. We all look forward to celebrating with these students as they achieve their goals,” stated Paul Schulz, executive director of MVCF.

MVCF assists students across different educational trajectories, including graduating high school seniors, current college students, graduate students, individuals returning to college after a gap, and those seeking professional development or workforce certification.

The scholarships were made possible through 27 separate funds, which were established by various members of the Martha’s Vineyard community, including educators, healthcare professionals, activists, musicians, and philanthropists.

Lisa Reagan, chair of the MVCF scholarships committee, reflected on the diversity of this year’s recipients, saying, “The scholarships committee is honored to support such a large group of Island students whose interests and goals vary across sectors, but who are all tied through the common thread of having been impacted by life on the Vineyard, and how it shaped who they are. On behalf of this year’s recipients, we thank our community of donors, and encourage the support to continue.”

Statistics from this year’s applicant pool reveal that 91 percent are graduates of or about to graduate from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, 25 percent are first-generation college students, 20 percent have English as their second language, 74 percent of this year’s applicants identified as needing financial aid, and 48 percent have previously received MVCF funding.

Applications for the 2024 scholarships were accepted online, with the portal opening in January and applications closing on March 15, 2024.