TELLURIDE, Colo. – (June 3, 2021) – The Telluride Foundation has helped students achieve their dream of getting to college since its inception in 2000, and this year, marks its 20th Anniversary with having given away over $1M in college scholarships. Although school looked very different this past year, many regional high school seniors and juniors forged on, looking forward to going away to college, with the pandemic in the rear-view mirror.
At graduation and award ceremonies this spring, the Telluride Foundation awarded a total of $333,000 in scholarships to 14 students. Scholarships to 2021 graduates included: five Chang Chavkin Scholar awards, up to $60,000 per student; $4,000 in Chang Chavkin Scholar finalist awards; a $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship, as well as $4,000 Prize; and five $1,000 Telluride Foundation Scholarships.
On KOTO Community Radio’s virtual Telluride High School Awards Night on May 18th, graduating senior Kaitlyn Almoney received the eighth annual $20,000 Neil Armstrong Scholarship. Almoney was selected from a very competitive pool of applicants from the Telluride, Norwood, Ouray, Ridgway, and West End school districts; the scholarship committee based their decision on her outstanding academics, strong interest in science, perseverance, and financial need. Almoney will be attending University of Southern California, studying Molecular and Cellular Biology on a pre-med track.
The Scholarship Committee also wanted to recognize the STEM academic achievement of Rowen Warren and awarded him with a $4,000 Neil Armstrong “Prize” award. Warren plans to attend University of Colorado, Boulder, majoring in Electrical Engineering.
The friends and family of Neil Armstrong created the Neil Armstrong Scholarship Fund to honor the achievements and character of the late American hero and astronaut who died in 2012. The Neil Armstrong Scholarship is awarded each year to a regional high school student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM).
The Telluride Foundation also provides $1,000 scholarships, recipients who are selected by the school administration, to each five regional school districts. Seniors receiving the Telluride Foundation Scholarship include: Jenna Baugh (Norwood), Tyler Wytulka (West End), Caeley Eddy(Ouray), Owen Lane (Ridgway), and Bo Zanardi (Telluride).
Every year the Chang Chavkin Scholars Program, an initiative of the Telluride Foundation, looks forward to selecting a new round of scholars, who are rising high school seniors. “The selection process is never easy,” says Valene Baskfield, Director of the Program. “The hard working and high achieving students in this region make our job of narrowing the application pool down extremely difficult.” In previous years, the Program has selected four scholars a year. This year, six new scholars were selected based on, “the strong potential we see in each one of them,” says Baskfield. This year’s application pool included 33 applicants from 7 regional school districts – Montrose, Ridgway, Ouray, Telluride, Norwood, Nucla/Naturita and Montezuma-Cortez.
The Chang Chavkin Scholars Program provides college scholarships, college advising, and support to selected high achieving first-generation students. The scholarship alone is up to $60,000 over four years; however, the real aim of the Program is to work with students, once selected at the end of their junior year, to find the best match school that meets their potential. Supporting Chang Chavkin Scholars, according to Baskfield, “often starts with giving them permission to believe in themselves and what is possible. We have worked with students who have gone much, much farther than what they thought they were capable of.” Baskfield is quick to point out that the program doesn’t get students into college, “Our scholars get themselves into college. They do the real work, but we are there every step of the way providing vital information and individualized support.” Selected Scholars receive ongoing college advising and support to ensure they have accurate information and essential resources to attend their best fit school based on affordability and quality of education. For more information on the Chang Chavkin Scholars Program: https://changchavkinscholars.org/.
The Telluride Foundation partners with several numerous organizations and committees who provide scholarships to deserving students, and the Foundation’s $1 mark includes its own scholarships as well as scholarship funds it helps to administer, including the Strokes of Genius, Elaine Fischer Visual Arts, Latina, and Andy Handley scholarships. “We are grateful for all the generous donors who believe in empowering the next generation,” said Paul Major, President & CEO of the Telluride Foundation.
The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride and regional community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. 2021 marks 20 years of making more possible through the Telluride Foundation’s commitment to enrich the quality of life of the residents, visitors, and workforce of the Telluride region. The Telluride Foundation is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that makes grants to nonprofits, owns and operates programs that meet emerging and unmet community needs, and makes investments. The Foundation approaches this work through the lens of its core values of inclusion, self-reliance, and innovation. Its work is funded through the generous support of individual donors as well as grants from state and national foundations. The Foundation hopes the community will join it in celebrating its 20th anniversary as it honors the nonprofits, donors, and community members who have all partnered together to achieve a significant positive impact on the region. For more information click on www.telluridefoundation.org.