WHO CAN APPLY
- Are you a junior at Housatonic Valley Regional High School?
- Have you been enrolled at the high school for at least two years?
If you answered yes to both questions, you are eligible to apply for the Margaret Derwin Scholarship.
Please note: If you are applying to the Margaret Derwin Scholarship, you do not need a Student Aid Report and you do not need to fill out the FAFSA. The application does require a copy of your parents' most recent tax return.
“'There's no use trying,' she (Alice) said 'one can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
— "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll
Are you a Junior at Housatonic Valley Regional High School? Have you believed “impossible” things? Do you dream of an exciting future doing interesting work in the world and helping others? Are you accomplished in school? Dedicated to your dreams? Have significant financial needs? Are you ready to step up to your own best possibilities? Is the sky your limit?
This scholarship is named for Margaret Derwin who graduated from Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Margaret grew up in North Canaan and decided that she wanted to be a social worker. Through her own efforts she learned of a program at Wheelock College in eastern Massachusetts, applied and was accepted. She then proceeded to assemble numerous scholarships and private support for her tuition for all four years. She was a disciplined scholar who loved life and was on the Dean’s List for all her time at Wheelock. After receiving her BA, Margaret decided to go on to graduate school. Wheelock had the program she was interested in and again Margaret succeeded in securing sufficient scholarship monies to pay for her Master’s program. Just before she was to enter the program, she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a malignant bone tumor. Margaret fought her illness valiantly with medical support from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston but regrettably died in November 2010.
Margaret was a first-rate student and even more was determined to follow her dream in spite of any obstacle that she faced. And there were many. She evidenced a kind of spunk and spirit that, had she lived, would have led her to exciting positions in the world where she would have easily been a leader and an inspiration to many others. Margaret had the ability to see beyond her own horizons and imagine a life that was bigger than her surroundings. She had talent certainly but also the important attribute of high aspirations. These are the characteristics of our future Derwin Scholars.
- be in their Junior year at Housatonic Valley Regional High School.
- have been an enrolled student at Housatonic Valley Regional High School for two years prior to application.
Who is the ideal candidate for this scholarship?
- Are you a student with financial need working to pursue the best educational experience for your interests and passions?
- Are you a student who can demonstrate your efforts to succeed at pursuing your dreams?
- Are you a student who might be limited in his/her/their academic choices for whom this scholarship would be a life-changing opportunity?
- Are you a student who will use his/her/their education as a springboard to a meaningful career?
- Are you a student who is committed to giving back to your community, be it family, neighbors or groups?
- Are you a student who would be a willing mentor to future Derwin students?
All four of the following criteria will have equal weight in making the selection:
- Financial need and impact of scholarship assistance
- Evidence of efforts to pursue one’s dreams
- Commitment to use of education as a springboard to a meaningful career
- Demonstrated commitment to community, through service to family, neighbors or community groups and efforts.
The Margaret Derwin Scholarship Fund will offer one student from Housatonic Valley Regional High School the opportunity to think beyond the ordinary and embrace the possibility of achieving something wonderful in their lives, a “blue sky” opportunity. A Junior will be selected in the spring to be the Margaret Derwin Scholar. S/he will receive support up to $5,000 for a national or overseas summer community service program* and up to $25,000 for tuition and associated costs of attending the college of their choice anywhere in the United States for up to four years of college. The runner-up will receive up to $5,000 for a national or overseas summer community service program.
Applications will be reviewed by Berkshire Taconic staff to ensure that eligibility requirements are met. The Selection Committee will then review them and make their determination based on the criteria outlined above.
The Margaret Derwin Scholarship Fund
A group of Northwest Corner residents has pooled resources to make the Margaret Derwin Scholarship available. The donors want to encourage our public high school students to dream big, set aspirations high and take firm steps to achieve what might seem impossible but is not achievable without vision, talent and effort. The donors fully believe that it is essential for our students to set their sights high and move toward a cherished goal incrementally and steadily. The Derwin Scholarship will reward those who do. Our students are our future employers, employees, entrepreneurs and leaders. Our community needs the next generation of leaders who are knowledgeable, flexible and fully informed about the world’s resources. Our democracy needs innovative problem solvers, articulate spokespeople, and compassionate citizens. An excellent education is the keystone of our future leaders. The Derwin Scholarship is a community effort to support our future.
*Participation in a summer program is an important part of the scholarship. The selected student will have up to $5,000 available to travel overseas or to another part of the United States to participate in a community service program of his/her choice. Listed below are several website that may prove helpful in making a selection.
Apply for the Margaret Derwin Scholarship by February 18.