When Ogdensburg Free Academy hosts its annual commencement ceremony today, they will not only be presenting diplomas to 106 students, but theyll also be handing out well over 100 scholarships and awards totaling nearly $30,000 in value.
A lot of these are very long-standing scholarships and memorials, said Assistant Superintendent David J. Valois. Some of these awards have been around for a long time.
All totaled the district will hand out 112 different awards totaling $29,125. With some of the awards being given to more than one student the totals easily jump to more than 125 awards worth well over $30,000.
It certainly provides a wonderful testimony to their families for remembering these people, Mr. Valois said, sadly recognizing the names on some of the awards as former students of his.
While some scholarships are funded through fundraisers, many of them are annual contributions to the district made by the family of whoever is being memorialized with that award.
If you want to give money in memory of someone you could do that in a lot of different ways it doesnt haven to be with a scholarship at the school, he said. That certainly indicates how much our community values education.
Assistant Principal Pamela Luckie agreed.
Were a very fortunate community to have people who generous and in these hard economic times, it certainly helps our students in their quest for college and career readiness.
While many of the scholarships are donations from private individuals or families, many of them also come from community service clubs and businesses in Ogdensburg and its surrounding communities.
They come from all over, alumni, retirees, community organizations and businesses, she said.
And for the businesses and organizations that contribute scholarships, Mr. Valois says thanks.
When we think about the contributions of these organizations, all through the year and not just with these scholarships, its a fabulous thing they do, he said. Those organizations never really get the appreciation they deserve.
Following the ceremony Mr. Valois said he hopes students will take a minute to think about the awards and also write thank you letters to the families and organizations who have given them awards.
Ive always hoped that the students who receive these awards are able to understand character traits and values these awards represent, he said. I hope they can truly appreciate why they got the award and not just that they got it.
OFAs annual commencement ceremony will be held in the Edgar A. Newell II Memorial Golden Dome at noon today.