200 Students Get $1 Million In Grants, Loans

August 10, 2009|By Olivia Bobrowsky | Olivia Bobrowsky,olivia.bobrowsky@baltsun.com

A Baltimore-based nonprofit group doled out $1 million in grants and interest-free loans to 200 Maryland students last week.

The Central Scholarship Bureau held a luncheon Thursday to honor the recipients, who can use the money for any postsecondary school plans, from construction apprenticeships to graduate school.

The money comes from individual donors, family foundations and a few larger foundations, such as the Meyerhoff, said Jan Wagner, the bureau's president. The annual luncheon allowed the donors to meet the students and listen to their stories.

"It's always inspiring to hear what they have to say," said Wagner, who was especially moved by one graduate student's story.

Megan Calvert, a graduate student studying to teach English as a foreign language, spoke of her work with students from around the world. She won a Kassap Family Scholarship in order to support her passion for teaching.

That particular scholarship awards four students with up to $5,000, but it is just one of 25 scholarship programs. The bureau, an 85-year-old organization, looks at financial need as well as academic merit to determine the winners.

Wagner said that the bureau received most of its donations before the recession hit. Donors' contributions have lessened since 2008, but she said the decline has not significantly hurt the organization. Last year, the bureau gave $1.5 million.

"We're thrilled that we were able to give at that level given the market," she said.

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