BRATTLEBORO—At its Feb. 19 annual meeting, the Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce listed growing a scholarship fund for area high school seniors as one of its goals for 2015.
Launched in 2008, The Jerry Goldberg Brattleboro Area Chamber of Commerce Skills for Success Scholarship awards $500 to five area high school seniors seeking to enter a professional training program.
Students at Leland & Gray Union High School, Hinsdale (N.H.) High School, Brattleboro Union High School, Pioneer Valley Regional in Gill, Mass., Kindle Farm School, and Windham Regional Career Center are eligible for the award.
Goldberg felt compelled to start the scholarship after walking in the Brattleboro Fourth of July Parade.
The discrepancy between the “haves” kids and the “have nots” kids struck Goldberg. It also struck Goldberg that he knew of no scholarships supporting students looking to build a career but who didn’t want to pursue a four-year liberal arts, pre-med, or pre-law degree.
So, he decided to start one.
“I wanted the Chamber to extend an open hand to those graduating seniors who have identified a field of professional interest and who have plans to develop a skill by which they can take their places as solid, secure and steady members of the community, sustaining themselves and their families,” wrote Goldberg in an email.
The scholarship started its endowment with seed money from Entergy Vermont Yankee and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
Entergy and the IBEW have continued donating over the years, wrote Goldberg. The Thomas Thompson Trust added additional funds in 2010.
Since 2009, the fund has awarded approximately 22 scholarships.
As a nonprofit organization, the Skills for Success Scholarship can accept donations from individual donors.