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Sudden Death Results in 'Scholarship Provider of the Year' and More Than $7M in Funding

By Kelly Church

Named the 2015 Scholarship Provider of the Year by the National Scholarship Providers Association, the George Snow Scholarship Fund provides students with scholarship support, both monetary and in services. The Fund was opened in 1982 after the sudden death of Boca Raton, FL math teacher George Snow in 1980. Snow's helicopter crashed off the coast of South Andros in the Bahamas with three others on board. His untimely death led to the creation of the scholarship organization, started by his family.

While George was no longer a teacher at the time of his death, his passion for education remained and his son, Timothy Snow who is also President of the organization, says the foundation helps others have accessible education.

"Here at the George Snow Scholarship Fund, we are dedicated to helping individuals in financial need who are continuing their education," Snow says. "Our goal is to ensure that no deserving scholar in our community will be deprived of higher education because of the shortage of funds. On top of the scholarship money, we offer many other scholarship support services. The students also receive college physicals, senior portraits, laptops, supplies, care packages and makeovers just to name a few."

Since the scholarship was founded, more than $7 million in educational grants have been provided to what the organization calls "deserving" individuals. In 2015 alone, more than $615,000 was awarded to a total of 67 students, or Snow Scholars. Those students were selected from a total of 744 applications. This past year that application number grew to 929. 67-people make up the Selection Committee who read and score the applications. Those selected applicants are then interviewed and scored by interview teams. The George Snow Scholarship Fund has outlined what they consider a deserving student.

"Common criteria of a 'deserving individual' is financial need and motivated applicants doing their best to help themselves and others," Snow says. "Other criteria include being active in their school and community and having strong educational and career goals."

The George Snow Scholarship Fund does not choose grantees based on career paths, Snow says. However, there are certain scholarships that are career-specific and require students to be dedicated to a certain subject. There are also scholarships available for children of firefighters and paramedics and children of Boca Raton Country Club employees as examples of the variety of scholarships available.

The organization raises money through donations and events, including their Annual Tiki Dinner, which was held recently on April 20. They also have Boca's Ballroom Battle", which takes place on August 20th at 6pm the Boca Raton Resort & Club. This is the 9th annual dance showcase starring Boca Raton community leaders and patterned after the popular "Dancing with the Stars" television program.

Donors don't have to wait for an event to come around in order to donate. Anyone can give via the George Snow Scholarship Fund website at any time of year.

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