2020 Scholarship Program
Click the image to download the 2020 Schlarship Program
The last day of May was to be the 29th Annual Scholarship Reception. 29 years of showcasing some amazing local students and reminding our community that it if wasn’t for the generous donors these scholarships wouldn’t be possible. While we can’t physically be together due to COVID-19 the celebration will continue in a different fashion. This year, nearly 50 student recipients and their 32 scholarship donors will be featured online and in print to recognize their achievements and generosity. The Dallas Jewish Community Foundation Scholarship Program will once again be an inspiration to us all.
Zooming for Dollars.
If someone would have told the 58-member committee that the student selection meeting would be via computer no one would have believed them. Though amazingly organized by the Foundation staff each year, this meeting is always complex with discussions leading to an extensive Excel filled with formulas. Prior to the meeting, the committee members’ scores of each student are averaged and compared numerically to other students for each scholarship they were eligible. All this time the committee members never knew the name, gender or even which school the applicant planned to attend. They reviewed and judged their academic, financial need or community involvement achievement with just those 3 scores without any subjectivity. With only scores in hand, whoever received the highest score was awarded the most deserving scholarship for which they were eligible. Since each scholarship had a different set of criteria, there was only discussion if the scores were close. So how was this to work via a Zoom call? The chairpeople, Ann Zimmerman Gallant and Mike Kottwitz, explained the process while keeping in mind many of the 34 people on the call were new to Zoom. Thankfully, technology was very advantageous to this process and people used the chat dialog box to share their concerns or questions as the meeting went on. When two applicants were close in their composite score, a quick peak at the criteria guided the discussion. If the scholarship was 60% financial need and 20% for both academic merit and community involvement, it was easy to end the tie, if the financial scores were different. If they weren’t different, only then was the Committee’s voice heard as they discussed who was more deserving. The process was so efficient that many veteran members said this is how the Foundation should conduct the selection process in the future.
So now after navigating a fully anonymous selection process, the wait will soon be over for recipients, committee members and donors alike. By the end of this month everyone will learn the names and identities of our amazing recipients. Watch in the TJP and on the DJCF.org website for the big announcement. This year's scholarship recipients include medical and law students, future teachers and engineers, and many other undergraduate and graduate students who come from a variety backgrounds, faiths and expertise. Most of their scholarships are based on financial need, academic merit, extracurricular involvement and/or community service. Since 1991, the Dallas Jewish Community Foundation and its secular arm, the Southwest Community Foundation, have awarded more $2 million in scholarships, helping over 800 students attain college degrees. Each scholarship fund was created based on the donor's vision; no two scholarships are alike.