Torrey Pines High School Scholarship Fund seeking applicants

Since the Torrey Pines High School Scholarship Fund began giving scholarships to deserving Falcon seniors 28 years ago, they’ve handed out in excess of $1 million.

“It’s rewarding, but it’s also a lot of work,” said Karin Lang, who is the co-president of the fund with Mary Stromitis. “The fund is meant to give students encouragement to continue their education beyond high school.”

This year, the volunteer staff behind the fund is at it again, as staffers are looking for 30 to 40 students to reward with money. But as Stromitis stresses, the scholarships awarded don’t have to be just for four-year universities.

“This fund is for every Torrey Pines senior who is headed off to any kind of post-secondary education,” she said. “This includes any school that’s accredited, whether it’s a trade or vocational school, or any two- or four-year college as well.”

The fund, which relies on donations from throughout the community, first began 28 years ago as Dollars for Scholars. It has since become its own 501(c)3 (which merited the name change) and has awarded financial help to countless students.

“Many past recipients have gone on to greater things,” noted Lang of the fund’s rich history. “We recently met a doctor who works for UCSD who benefited from the fund when it first started. We like awarding money to all kinds of students, from those who are the first to go to college in their family and may really need the money, to high achievers.”

It is estimated that one-third of the students who apply will end up receiving scholarship money.

This year, the fund is planning to give out about $40,000 in scholarship money and requires students to undergo a rigorous interview process. The completion of an essay is also required. The entire process is designed to vet the most deserving candidates, as well as prepare students for applying to jobs and programs in the real world.

Various scholarships are available this year, including some in specific categories.

“We received a donation from (Encinitas-based) Hansen Surfboards, and they requested that their scholarship goes toward a student who surfs,” said Lang. Other scholarships given this year will go to students in various sports, including softball, as well as science and other subjects. Memorial scholarships in memory of deceased students are also available.

Board members, some of whom have been part of the fund for the past 28 years, encourage students from all backgrounds to apply.

Said Stromitis, “The scholarship amount is not a huge amount of money — it won’t be enough for a full ride — but thanks to the high cost of college these days, every dollar counts.”

If you’re a deserving Torrey Pines senior interested in applying, find more information at www.TPHSSF.org. Applications must be received by midnight March 13 in order to be considered. Scholarships available this year range from $500 to $1,000.


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