The commission, which consists of 10 Brentwood residents between ages 11 to 20, raises money each year to support students who pursue higher education. During the 2008-09 school year, the group raised $3,000 by participating in city-sponsored fundraisers, but the commission will need to find new ways to raise funds for next year now that one of its key fundraising activities, the Spring to Life Fun Run, has been cancelled due to budget cuts within the Brentwood Parks and Recreation Department.
Youth Commission Chairman Matthew Strauss said the group is already brainstorming alternative fundraising opportunities so that the commission can continue to help students who need financial assistance to continue their education.
“The issue was brought to our attention once the budget cuts were made,” said Strauss. “We’ve already begun to think of new ways to raise funds to finance the scholarships in the future because this is a tradition we’d like to continue. The scholarship is very important to us.”
Elysia Cook, commission treasurer, said while the commission would like to sponsor community events, funding the scholarship is the commission’s highest priority. “Since a large number of youth apply for scholarships during their high school years, it would almost be a shame if we didn’t make any efforts to help them out. After all, a lot of us are in the same position. With this economy, even the smallest amounts of money can make a difference.”
While the Youth Commission works together to raise the money for the scholarship, the executive board, consisting of the chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary, determine the recipients.
Barbie Gary, city staff liaison, said she removes the names from all the applications to prevent bias in the selection process.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must earn a 3.0 grade point average, submit income verification demonstrating financial need, provide a letter of recommendation and complete an essay that explains their future education and career goals.
The scholarship is open to Brentwood residents, so students attending private schools are also eligible.
Scholarship applications are available at Freedom, Heritage and Liberty high school career centers, and the Parks and Recreation Department Office, 730 Third St.The application is also available online
Applications must be returned to the Parks and Recreation Department office by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 3.
For more information, call Barbie Gary at 925-516-5366.