FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Easton- October 15, 2012)
ROBERTA B. HOLT BEQUEST LAUNCHES NEW SCHOLARSHIP INITIATIVE AT MSCF
Stuart Bounds, President of the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, announced the establishment of the Roberta B. Holt Scholarship Endowment at the Foundation to benefit Caroline County residents. When the endowment is fully funded, it will be the largest scholarship endowment at the Foundation and should generate approximately $200,000 annually to help ensure that residents of Caroline County have the opportunity to continue their education at a college, university, or technical training institution.
Roberta Baxter Holt was a native of Federalsburg and a graduate of Federalsburg High School in 1959. She received her B.A. in Sociology at the University of Delaware, a master’s in social work at the University of Minnesota, and a doctorate in social work from the Catholic University of America. She was a research associate in the Laboratory of Brain Evolution and Behavior at the National Institutes of Mental Health and had a long and successful career as a psychotherapist with a family oriented practice in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She also served on the faculty of Georgetown University in what is now the Bowen Center for the Study of the Family.
Affectionately known as Bobbie, Dr. Holt had in-depth knowledge in an incredibly diverse range of topics and she admitted to being a consummate researcher in any area that touched her life. Throughout her extraordinary career, Dr. Holt remained connected to her Federalsburg roots. She served as chairman of class reunions held every five years since graduation and her class was the only one to have continuous reunions. Roberta “Bobbie” Holt exemplified her personal philosophy of doing something productive every day to further yourself or humankind. She was determined to use her success and the assets in her estate to encourage others to do the same. This extraordinary scholarship program was established to fulfill her commitment to education.
Dr. Holt’s brother, Haines Holt, and his wife Nancy worked with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation to establish the endowment. Two other prominent educators – Dr. Clay Railey, Dean, Communications, Arts and Humanities at Delaware County Community College (PA) and Talbot County resident; and Dale Brown, Principal at Booker T. Washington Elementary School in Dover and formerly principal at Lockerman Middle School in Denton -- helped shape the scholarship initiative for Caroline County residents and will be involved in the selection process for scholarship recipients.
Two significant scholarship programs have been initiated beginning in Spring, 2013. The first will provide grants for Caroline County high school students enrolling in the Dual Enrollment program at Chesapeake College. The goal of the program is to cover the cost of up to two courses at Chesapeake College for all high school students who qualify for the program, which is estimated to be approximately $500 per course for tuition, fees and books.
Combined with the 25 percent tuition discount Dual Enrollment students already receive from Chesapeake College, the Roberta B. Holt Grant is intended to cover each participant’s total direct costs for attending Chesapeake College next spring. North Caroline and Colonel Richardson, the two public high schools in Caroline County, typically average between 20 and 40 students participating in Dual Enrollment in any given semester.
“Chesapeake College is very pleased to be working with the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and Caroline County Public Schools to implement the Roberta B. Holt Dual Enrollment Grant,” said Dr. Barbara Viniar, Chesapeake College’s president. “We appreciate the incredible generosity of Dr. Holt, and the commitment of those involved in this scholarship program to providing Caroline County students with early college access through the Dual Enrollment Program.”
Tina Brown, Assistant Superintendent for Instruction with Caroline County Public Schools, said the Roberta B. Holt Grant will enrich students’ academic experiences and dramatically expand their opportunities.
“While Chesapeake’s 25 percent tuition discount makes Dual Enrollment much more affordable, we know the cost of college is still beyond the means of many Caroline County families,” said Tina Brown. “For many of our students the Roberta B. Holt Grant will remove the economic barrier to participation in Chesapeake College’s Dual Enrollment program.”
Dr. Viniar said high school students use Dual Enrollment both to get a head start on building college credit and to gain experience in what it takes to be successful in college.
“Many Dual Enrollment students apply their credits toward Chesapeake College degrees or transfer them to four-year institutions,” said Dr. Viniar. “Some students do both. And all students can use the experience to better prepare themselves for their postsecondary work.”
Tina Brown said the Holt Grant will also help Caroline County Public Schools launch a new Spring 2013 program in which eligible seniors who have completed all of their high school requirements are authorized to take full academic loads at Chesapeake under the Dual Enrollment Program.
“The Holt Grant makes this program a potential option for more students,” said Tina Brown.
Stuart Bounds explained that the intent of the Roberta B. Holt Dual Enrollment Grant Program is to continue this level of support on an ongoing basis, and perhaps increase it beyond two courses dependent on available funding which for the Spring semester of 2013 is estimated at $25,000.
The second major scholarship program funded by the Roberta B. Holt Endowment is a new multiyear scholarship program that will provide up to $40,000 in scholarship assistance to residents of Caroline County applying to or enrolled in an accredited two-or four-year postsecondary institution, or a licensed vocational-technical program as a full-time student.
The Roberta B. Holt Scholarship will be included in MSCF’s Pooled Scholarship Program. Scholarship funds can be used for tuition, room, board, books and supplies required for the student’s course of study. Applications for this program are available from the Foundation or in high school guidance offices with a submission deadline of February 1, 2013.
The Roberta B. Holt Scholarship will be the largest scholarship awarded by MSCF, and one of the largest scholarships offered to residents of Caroline County by any organization. This scholarship is intended to ensure that cost is not a barrier to higher education for Caroline County residents.
For more information about the Chesapeake College Dual Enrollment Program, please contact the Chesapeake College Office of Admissions (410-822-5400, ext. 2240 or 2287). Caroline County Public Schools juniors and seniors interested in participating in the Dual Enrollment Program and applying for the Roberta B. Holt Grant may also contact their high school guidance counselor.
Information on the Roberta B. Holt Scholarship is available on request from MSCF by contacting Robbin Hill, Chief Program Officer, at 410-820-8175, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available at www.mscf.org.