We need your help – it’s Pride Foundation Scholarship time!

Another exciting batch of Pride Foundation scholarship applications are on their way and we’d love your help again in reviewing them. Pride Foundation’s scholarship program would not be successful without the hard work and support of volunteers like you. We are in the midst of coordinating volunteers for this upcoming cycle. Please contact me by January 12, 2011 to see if there is a volunteer role that fits for you (they are described below).

There are volunteer opportunities throughout the five states that we serve. We will be doing online training to serve regional volunteers outside the Seattle area. Please also feel free to pass this information on to any associates or friends you think would be interested in being a volunteer.

Overview

Pride Foundation manages over 50 separate scholarship funds set up by different donors. Each has its own criteria. Go to www.pridefoundation.org/scholarships if you want to read a description of each of the scholarships.

As you may know, the scholarship application is web-based. Applicants fill out one application and submit it by January 31. We determine all of the specific scholarships for which they qualify, including Greater Seattle Business Association scholarships, a partner organization with a generous scholarship program.

Application review remains on-line and is also substantially improved over last year! This means you will need a computer with Internet access to read or download the scholarship applications. You can also choose to print the applications from your computer if you prefer having paper copies to read offline. Training will be provided and we are here to help you if you have any questions about this exciting process.

The options for volunteer participation are as follows:

Volunteer Option #1: Screening Team Option

Pride Foundation will likely receive over 3,000 applications this year. This means that many of our scholarships with broad criteria would have too many applications for a committee to review. The first step is to narrow down the field using Screening Teams, each with three volunteers that read and rate a group of about 25 applications. The review is based on shared criteria and desired characteristics common to all of our scholarships. These teams meet to narrow the pool down to “semi-finalists” whose applications will be sent on to be considered for each of the scholarships for which they qualify. Team members will be trained on how to read and rate the applications. Do not choose this option if you are not certain you will be able to attend the final meeting below. While conflicts can arise, a team of three is compromised if one of their members is suddenly unavailable.

For this option only: if you are not in Western Washington, you can still participate! We are going to have a web/phone based orientation in early February and would welcome you to participate in this important decision making process.

For members of our Screening Teams, the important dates are:

  • Wednesday, February 2 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Screening Team Orientation.  Snacks and beverages will be served.
  • February 2 to February 25 – Read and rate applications on your own.
  • Saturday, February 26 – A 2.5 hour block of time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (depending on your screening team) to select semifinalists at the Pride Foundation office in Seattle. Food will be provided.

Volunteer Option #2: Interview Team Option

We have separate Interview Teams for each specific scholarship. Teams review the applications from the pool narrowed by the Screening Teams and that meet the qualifications of their specific scholarship. Interview Teams read and rate this group and meet to decide which of the applicants are “finalists” and should be invited for interviews. They will be trained on how to read and rate applications as well as interview applicants. On the interview day, the Interview Teams will interview the finalists and decide which individuals will be awarded scholarships.

If you live outside of Western Washington and would like to help interview, please let us know. We also have many scholarship teams that meet in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Eastern Washington. Just be sure to denote that you would like to help with a regionally based scholarship interview team when you reply back.

Also, as a returning volunteer, please let us know if you have a specific scholarship team on which you would like to serve. We cannot guarantee you will be on this committee, but it does help us with planning.

For members of the Interview Team Committees, the important dates are:

  • Wednesday, March 2 – 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Interview Team Committee Orientation. Snacks and beverages will be served.
  • March 2 to March 25 – Read and rate applications on your own.
  • Saturday, March 26 – A 2.5 hour block of time between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (depending on your scholarship team) to select finalists at the Pride Foundation office in Seattle. Food will be provided. Alternatively, committees can opt to meet at a location of their choice providing they arrange it with me beforehand.
  • Saturday, April 30 – Interview Day – A three hour block of time between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. (depending on the scholarship) at Seattle University. Alternate regional locations will be determined once applications have been reviewed. Specific location information along with parking information and directions will be provided later.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

In addition to needing volunteers to screen or interview applicants, there are a number of tasks for which we need addition help. If you are interested in helping on interview day in Seattle with early morning set up, checking in applicants, serving as a interview candidate guide, and/or the late afternoon tear down; let us know and we’ll send you additional details. These would be 2 or 3 hours shifts sometime between 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 30. You can only help with these tasks if you are NOT on an interview team.

I sincerely hope that you are interested in volunteering again and would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have or hear any feedback you might have.

So, please contact me if you would like to be on a “screening team”, on an “interview team”, or help with “interview day logistics” by replying to this email before January 12 and letting us know which one you’re most interested in doing!

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Posted In: Blog, News & Events, Blog, Scholarships + Education