For Staples Tuition Grants, it was the perfect storm.
In March — just when volunteers with the 77-year-old organization were finalizing awards for the 100-plus graduating seniors and alums currently in college who depend on donors to make education a reality — the coronavirus struck.
More students needed more aid. And fewer Westporters were able to give.
But the community rose to the challenge. A special drive brought in desperately needed funds.
So this spring, STG disbursed more money than ever: $375,000.
That means 107 Staples grads — at 72 colleges and universities across the country — can continue their educations.
COVID also knocked out STG’s annual June ceremony, always a joyful, inspiring event.
But Staples grad and STG booster Margot Bruce did the next best thing: She created a joyful, inspiring video.
It includes brief messages from 1st Selectman Jim Marpe (who notes the importance of a tuition grant in his Ohio hometown, helping him become the first in his family to go college); Staples principal Stafford Thomas; former recipient Scott Bennewitz, the son of a single mom and now a Princeton grad, plus many current and recent recipients.
The video is well worth the 6 minutes. And when it’s over — or even before — you can click here to help Staples Tuition Grants reach its 2021 goal.