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For some, high school graduation is the end. For others, it’s just the next step to a university degree. However, college would be prohibitively expensive for many if it wasn’t for the philanthropy of scholarships.

On Tuesday, May 10, 32 Sedona Red Rock High School seniors received $212,300 in scholarship funds from 29 donors. Many of those donors gave multiple scholarships and many of the students won more than just one award. Even if the numbers were slightly skewed higher due to three big scholarships, according to school staff, the total was the highest in the school’s history.

The groups giving away scholarships included charities, clubs, businesses, individuals and organizations. Many of us belong to, donate to or volunteer to help these groups over the year. Marine Corps League members in their matching red blazers and the always energetic Marion Herrman were just a few of the residents who proudly gave a little help to the bright-eyed kids.

Some 19 students also received full-ride scholarships to state schools for their outstanding achievement on the Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards. In total, SRRHS students earned an additional $760,000 in deferments, I’m certain at a great relief to their proud families.

On behalf of Larson Newspapers, I had the honor of giving the Sedona Red Rock News Journalism Scholarship to senior Maggie Spear. We have given a scholarship to a deserving student every year since SRRHS opened and this was my first year giving out the award.

Spear has been an editor for The Sting, SRRHS’ student newspaper, for the last four years and co-editor-in-chief for the last two. She has also contributed to Scorpion Shout Out, a column written by a high school student that we publish in our Wednesday edition.

Spear told me she spent so much time in the school’s journalism lab over the last four years that if she had been paid minimum wage for her hours there, she would have made $16,000. That’s dedication to a craft — and an excellent real-world use of mathematics at a higher level.

Spear will be heading off to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University — my alma mater — before turning her sights to Emerson College in Boston. We wish her the best of luck and hope the scholarship helps.

Maureen Barton gave the SRRHS Journalism Award to seven newspaper and yearbook students: Daniela Galbraith-Ritchie, Lila Rodriguez, Callie Kittredge, Jennifer Kittredge, Aaron Scott, Julia Zimmerman and Spear — all familiar names to those of us at Larson Newspapers.

Seeing students graduate is a bit of a sad moment for us in the newsroom. The graduating seniors have become familiar faces on our newspaper pages. We have written about their successes and setbacks, athletic achievements and academic awards. We can identify them in photos, know from memory who spells their first names with a “y” or with an “ee” and who hyphenates their last names.

In telling their stories, we feel connected to them, just as our readers must when reading the articles we publish about them.

With a little help to pay the way toward their degrees, careers and beyond, the future is in their hands. Make us proud.


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