The San Fernando Odd Fellows Lodge No. 365 is offering more than two grand in scholarship funds to 10 graduating high school seniors in the Northeast San Fernando Valley who are heading off to college.
The money comes from the 2023 Miles-Dunwoody Scholarship Fund, which totals $20,230. Each recipient will receive $2,023. Eligible students include high school seniors from Cesar Chavez Learning Academies, PUC Nueva Esperanza Charter Academy, Arleta High, Sylmar High, San Fernando High, and Kennedy High Schools. Veterans continuing their education and senior DACA recipients are also eligible.
“We wanted to empower the community, specifically San Fernando and its surrounding areas, and one of our main causes of our fraternity is to educate our children,” said Anthony Guillen, chair of the Miles-Dunwoody Scholarship Committee. “We are utilizing our platform and the funds that we get from our lodge to be able to contribute in that respect.”
Applicants who apply must include an official copy of their high school transcript, two letters of recommendation from teachers, coaches or other mentors and a personal essay or video submission.
The theme of the essay is “Resilience and Overcoming Adversity.” Applicants are free to use any medium to convey the message, including poetry, music and art, as long as it summarizes the theme. The submission must be provided either on paper, on a DVD, a USB drive or link to the video online. It will be graded on its effectiveness, creativity and quality.
“We wanted a theme that was challenging for the students that we feel a lot of people in our community can relate to,” Guillen explained. “I would suggest the students really put some thought and effort into it because they’re going up against other students who we can see spent time on it.”
Guillen said the students who are awarded these scholarships won’t simply be those with the highest GPA, but are those the committee believes will do good with the money and who really need it.
The funds will be paid to each recipient upon proof of enrollment in any two- or four-year college, university or trade school. If the college is on a semester system, funds will be paid in two installments; if it’s on a quarter system, funds are paid in three installments.
Guillen said the lodge will continue to follow up with the students and see how they have been progressing.
“We’re there to develop and procreate the relationships, and they can see how organizations like ours give back to the community with the hope that when they grow up, they can make some impact as well,” Guillen said.
The application can be found at https://qrcodes.pro/7cxgGE?preview=true. It is due May 20. Those who are selected will be invited to an awards dinner on June 28 for themselves and their family.
The application can be dropped off in person at 401 N. Hagar St. in San Fernando or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.