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2010 Vol 4 No 4
Annual meeting – a Celebration at Reynolds Hall: Our annual contributors’ reception was a double feature event. The business portion of the meeting was conducted by CVCSF Secretary, James Callahan. He greeted a good mix of close to fifty contributors, scholarship and mentoring award winners, mentors, volunteers, directors and others from ConVal High School and Superintendent, Richard Bergeron. He also welcomed special guests there to present the inaugural New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Monadnock Region Community Leadership Award to CVCSF Founding Director, John Vance. (See more below.)
Philip Grisafi, CVCSF President, (in picture at right with Sherry Nixon, Administrative Assistant and CVCSF scholar mentor Brian Pickering, ConVal High School Principal) reported on progress in 2010 with good success records of CVCSF Scholars in the ConVal Classes of 2007 and 2008, and on one of our star achievers in the Class of 2009. He also announced Bryan Pickering’s election to our Board of Directors. Mary Lou O’Neil, supervisor of our monitors, reported that four of our six scholarship and mentoring winners in the Class of 2010 are in school, with the other two expecting to start in January. Joe Hayes, Awards Committee Chair, reported on how the process of selecting award winners works and that his committee has begun the process of selecting twelve nominees in the Class of 2011.
Timothy Kolk, Treasurer, reported contributions in line with expectations and tightly controlled expenses below budget. (See later financial report below). John Vance reported on 2011 plans to further develop the mentoring aspect of CVCSF work, key to sustaining a highly successful rate of completion of postsecondary programs for which our awards are given.
Special Award Presentation: John Kieley, Awards Committee Chair, with Jeffrey Crocker, Board Chair, and Laura Rauscher, of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Monadnock Region, presented their organization’s inaugural Community Leadership award to CVCSF Founding Director, John Vance. This was for his role in initiating three Monadnock Region not for profit organizations of which CVCSF, founded in 2006 is the latest. The other two were Downtown 2000 launched in 1996 to revitalize the Depot Square part of Downtown Peterborough and Monadnock Connect, a broadband initiative begun in 2000 to serve forty communities in the Monadnock region. What these initiatives have in common is that each was planned to address a regional need and required some sense of community participation in order to succeed. Key to success for CVCSF was the need for citizens in the nine town ConVal School region to share in supporting the ConVal regional objective of helping more students to achieve their potential. With close to 450 individual contributions received to date and all nine towns represented in the first twenty-two scholarship awards granted, this sense of community participation seems to be working well. The November 18 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript story on this award is enclosed. For reception photos go to wesleymaggs [at] gmail [dot] com/scholars">wesleymaggs [at] gmail [dot] com/scholars
Collection Jars: $3,789 was collected in our jars in 26 locations in 2010, up from $2,521 in 2009. This success makes it possible for us to choose another CVCSF ConVal Merchants Scholarship and Mentoring Award winner in the graduating Class of 2011. Our 2010 Top Jar Award goes to Mr. Mike’s in Peterborough with the Dublin General Store and the T-Bird Minimart in Antrim in second and third place. (See press release enclosed on reverse of Leadership Award story.)
Financial Report: In spite of hard times, with better than expected revenue in November and December and expenses and distributions under budget, our final report for 2010 will be positive and bodes well for the future. We are optimistic about building on our current asset base of about $190,000. That said, we must keep in mind that our scholarship and support commitments extend over several years and that inflation in tuition costs is to be expected. Securing these assets and building reserves to assure our future is an ongoing challenge.
Organization News: October addition of ConVal High School Principal, Brian Pickering, to our Board of Directors was mentioned above. One benefit of this is that as Principal he is also a member of the ConVal High School committee that nominates candidates for our scholarship and mentoring awards. In November, Wesley Maggs, of Peterborough, joined us as a volunteer to take over management of our collection jar program from John Vance. He will also serve as our photographer. Some of you will have seen Brian and Wesley at our November 15 reception.
Report on Class of 2010 CVCSF Scholars: In each year since 2006, the first year in which we offered awards, there has been at least one eligible winner unable to claim his or her award. This is always disappointing because each time it happens there is another student we considered worthy but we were unable to help. We are pleased to report that the Class of 2010 may be the first in which all of our selected winners have been able to claim their awards and start classes. Because of the illness of one winner’s parent and an unusual travel opportunity for another, there are two in the Class of 2010 who will be starting one semester late, but it appears that all will start. First semester grades now coming in suggest that all of our 2010 winners have the potential to succeed.
Selected Reports on earlier classes: Priscilla Coffill, (Hancock)Class of 2007, earned her Nursing degree and started in her job at Monadnock Community Hospital in July 2009. She had an internship there when she was at ConVal High School. Now she supervises an intern and is doing well in developing her own career. Jie Lu (Dublin), Class of 2008, finished four out of five semesters necessary for graduation from the Nashua NH Community College Hotel Management Associate degree program. She took advantage of an extraordinary one semester internship opportunity to work at a Marriott Hotel in Nanning, China. She returned in November to complete her final semester in Nashua. She expects to earn her associate degree in June. When she does this we can claim that 80% of our winners in the Classes of 2007 and 2008 have completed the courses for which they won our support. Samantha Mannion (Peterborough), class of 2009, studying Marine Biology at UNH, featured in our September newsletter, continues to do well.
Increased emphasis on mentoring: Each year we learn more about the importance of providing mentoring assistance to our scholarship winners. Given our criteria for selection of award winners we know that many are not well prepared for the transition from high school to postsecondary education. This is why our awards include the provision of adult mentoring support from the time of high school graduation until completion of the postsecondary education programs for which our grants are intended. We plan to continue to improve and expand mentoring support in 2011 and in the years ahead. We believe that this is the way to maximize the rate of success for our scholars and the return on our contributors’ investment. We implore our candidates to “face challenges, aim higher and achieve”. We expect our CVCSF directors and volunteers to do the same.