The Community Foundation of Carroll County Inc. is about two-thirds of the way through scholarship season. We get to take a deep breath after all our Carroll County high schools finish with graduation but not for long. We are now working hard on our 4-H scholarships that will be awarded at the Carroll County 4-H and FFA Fair later this month and a few others that are awarded at various times of the year. Due to the extraordinary generosity of the people of Carroll County, in 2016 we awarded $243,895. We are on track to exceed that number for 2017.
Most people are aware, I think, that we are blessed with an excellent school system and that we have a very high graduation rate, countywide, of more than 95 percent. I thought you might be interested in knowing where our kids wind up going to school.
So far in 2017, seven of our scholarship winners have chosen to start their college careers at Carroll Community College, two will attend McDaniel College and 10 will go to the University of Maryland, College Park. Of the others who will be staying in the state of Maryland, four will study at Towson University, two at Mount St. Mary's University, two at Salisbury University, one at Frostburg State University, one at Loyola University, one at St. Mary's College of Maryland and one at the Virginia-Maryland School of Veterinary Medicine.
Those students from our first group for 2017 leaving the state will be going to Berklee College of Music in Boston, The College of The Holy Cross, The College of William and Mary, Duquesne University, Elon University, High Point University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Shenandoah University, Seton Hall, York College, The University of Akron, the University of Dayton, East Carolina University, George Mason University, Indiana University, Lee University, Liberty University, Lycoming College, Juniata College, Messiah College, Potomac State College, South Hills School of Business and Technology, West Chester University and West Virginia University.
For 2016, the colleges and universities attended by the 4-H Scholars include many of the schools already mentioned but also University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina-Wilmington, University of Delaware, University of California-Santa Barbara, The Boston Conservatory, Stevenson University, Randolph-Macon College, Quinnipiac University, Pennsylvania State University, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Moore College of Art and Design, Methodist University, Clemson University and Brigham Young University.
The thing that boggles the mind about all of this is that of the millions of dollars in scholarships awarded each year to Carroll County high school students, we are only one of many organizations making awards. There are many other organizations and private scholarships. We only know the names of the schools we send money to. There must be many, many others. Our students go to some of the best schools in the country and they do well. Sometimes they even write to us when they graduate from college thanking us for helping them get a good education. Sometimes they even tell us that they feel an obligation to pay it forward to help someone else. I think that attitude comes from good parenting, good schools and a wonderful community. Let's hope many of them find their way back to Carroll County to raise their own families and be the next generation of good citizens.
Audrey S. Cimino is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Carroll County Inc.