Members of the Class of 2019 at EHHS and MHS can apply through Hardy for the national Foundation for Rural Service College Scholarship Program. The scholarship, open to applicants who receive local telecommunications service (either telephone, internet, or television) from Hardy, is worth $2,000, and Hardy Telecommunications will contribute an additional $500 to the amount, bringing the total one-time scholarship award to $2,500.
Interested students can contact their guidance counselors at the two schools or download the application at the FRS website at www.frs.org. Students also can contact Derek Barr, Hardy director of customer service and sales, marketing and human resources, at 304-530-5000 for an application.
Completed applications must be sent to FRS postmarked no later than March 1, 2019, and must bear Derek’s signature as Hardy’s official representative, so students are asked to return their applications to Derek no later than February 15, 2019.
Students should not send their applications directly to the Foundation for Rural Service. Applications should be returned to the guidance counselors at Moorefield and East Hardy high schools or to Derek at one of Hardy’s offices in Moorefield or Lost River. Derek will ensure that all necessary Hardy signatures are obtained and mail all applications to the FRS.
The FRS will award scholarships nationwide. A qualified selection committee of current educators determined by the Foundation for Rural Service will select the winners; Hardy Telecommunications itself has no input in the selection process.
Derek stressed that the scholarship is a national scholarship, so Hardy Telecommunications can’t guarantee that any local student will be selected. Hardy simply sponsors local applications and agrees to contribute $500 of the total $2,500 amount if the national FRS committee does pick a Hardy County student.
“The scholarship selection is divided into regions, and the Foundation for Rural Service does make sure that scholarships are awarded in every region. But West Virginia is still in a region with several other states, so it’s a very competitive process,” he said.
Hardy has had two FRS Scholarship recipients in the last decade: 2011 East Hardy High Graduate Jesse Cook and 2017 EHHS Grad Caitlin Fitzwater.
“We were extremely happy to present those $2,500 scholarships to Jesse and Caitlin,” Derek said. “They were both outstanding students, and FRS officials told me the FRS judges were very impressed with their applications.
“We’d love to sponsor another winner here in Hardy County, so we’re hoping a lot of students apply,” Derek said.
Applicants must be a U.S. citizen and graduating high school senior; accepted by an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school; have at least a C grade point average; express an interest in returning to a rural community following graduation; and be sponsored by a current member of NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association.
The Foundation for Rural Service (FRS) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that promotes, educates and advocates rural telecom issues in order to sustain and enhance the quality of life within rural American communities.