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Community First


Brian Quinlan, one of four recipients of last year's Front Porch Trust Scholarship.Landing a college scholarship can be tricky—and good luck if you’re not a top-notch jock or at the head of your class. Fortunately for Conestoga and Great Valley high school seniors, their communities haven’t forgotten the value of service.

Case in point: the Front Porch Trust Scholarship, a fund created by the Paoli Business & Professional Association and the Paoli 250 Anniversary Committee to reward students who’ve demonstrated a commitment to serving their local and school communities through volunteer and goodwill efforts. “They all have a common characteristic in that they don’t see the barriers to fixing things,” says Sandy Claus, Great Valley School District’s volunteer coordinator. “They see an issue or a problem, and where a lot of adults would say, ‘That’s way too big for me to deal with,’ they don’t see those limitations.”

Front Porch Trust recipients include volunteers at local fire companies and hospitals, natural-disaster relief workers, and those involved in humanitarian efforts in Central and South America. At a time when the college admissions game is as cutthroat as ever, these teens are the whole package: academic standouts with demonstrated leadership responsibilities and avid community involvement.

Each year, three scholarships—$1,000, $750 and $500—are awarded at each school to help cover college expenses. In addition to filling out an application, applicants must respond to the following quote from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Mead’s words were chosen to reflect the hope and determination that’s so apparent in the winners. “They’re making an effort to make the world a better place, one piece at a time,” says Claus.

To learn more, visit paolibusiness.com.

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