Deadline approaching for scholarships from the Washington Apple Education Foundation

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WENATCHEE — Over $1 million in scholarships for the 2019-2020 school year are to be awarded by the Washington Apple Education Foundation. March 1 is the deadline for applications to be submitted. Applications and scholarship qualifications can be found online at www.waef.org/scholarships.

Those eligible to receive awards are students completing their last year of high school or currently enrolled in college, or those enrolling in college as an adult. Scholarships may be used at two-year and four-year colleges and universities and accredited trade/technical schools.

“Students are eligible if their parents are employed in the tree fruit industry (apples, cherries and pears) or want to train for a career in the industry,” said Jennifer Witherbee, Washington Apple Education Foundation’s executive director. “It is based on if parents have a job with a grower, in a warehouse or as an owner. A lot of scholarships have a huge financial need component. Last year, a lot of our students had parents working in the labor-type jobs.”

Applications must be completed online by March 1.

“A tip for students, starting working on it now,” Witherbee said. “They have a lot of work to do. They need to get letters of reference and transcripts. Don’t wait until Feb. 28. Get going on it now.”

Students should contact the Washington Apple Education Foundation at 509-663-7713 or scholarships@waef.org with questions or if they need assistance with the application. Scholarship application tips are available online at www.waef.org/scholarships.

The Washington Apple Education Foundation was created in 1994 with the purpose to advance Washington’s tree fruit industry charitable work.

“Members of the tree fruit industry formed the foundation to coordinate charitable activity that reflect the priorities of the tree fruit industry,” said Witherbee. “That was 25 years ago. Our priority is helping kids whose parents work in the industry, succeed in college.”

Currently, the Washington Apple Education Foundation assists 315 students enrolled in college with $1.1 million in scholarships. They are expecting to extend that number to 350 new and renewing students for the next school year.

“Our funding comes through current year contributions,” Witherbee said. “With an increase in contributions, we can help more students.”

This year, contributions have been slightly greater than $1.1 million.

“We have an amazing group of students,” Witherbee said. “They are so driven. Their success rate in college is truly amazing.”

Rachal Pinkerton can be reached via email at rpinkerton@columbiabasinherald.com.

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