Scholarships Awarded to Four Graduating Seniors

By Brenda McPherson-Fry, President

“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” – Nora Ephron

Amidst inadequate state funding and school budgets limited by their property tax base, our students and faculty find themselves having to seek out alternative methods of funding to provide creative and enrichment opportunities that go beyond the realm of reading, writing, and arithmetic. In a technologically advanced society, we need students adept at using computers and finding their inner creative and productive selves to contribute to our society.

The Penn Wood Foundation seeks to provide funds in the forms of grants and scholarships to our students, so that we can help to close the gap of the digital divide and the struggle the working middle class has with providing ample opportunities for the children in our district. This year the Penn Wood Foundation was excited to award $500.00 scholarships to four very deserving graduating seniors. Students were primarily selected based on a written essay, “Paying It Forward.” This year’s recipients were:

Zoë Farquhar, who received the scholarship in memory of Helen Hill, a longtime public education advocate in the William Penn School District.
James Worthy III, who received one in honor of Antonio Greene, a beloved employee of the district and former Vice President of the Foundation.
Aminata Kamara, who demonstrated in her essay a willingness to pay back to their school and community upon completion of college.
Ibrahim Kargbo, for also demonstrating a willingness to pay back to his school and community upon completion of college in his essay.

In addition to our scholarship awards, the Foundation provides “mini-grants” to staff members. At Evans Elementary School, the autistic support class will receive funds to have a puppet theater, a useful tool for providing socialization experience for their pupils. At Walnut Street, Principal Joe Williams has purchased materials to start a film club in his building. Mr. Ricketts, the elementary school Band Director, was able to use his funds to pay for a bus to transport the elementary district band students to play at an opening of a baseball game in Camden. Finally, Ms. Kramer purchased four election kits that will provide students at Cypress with a chance to learn first-hand the importance of being an informed group of citizens when participating in the election process. This mission is much applauded since it is keeping with the goal of public education to produce a well-informed citizenry.

Do you want to help a student or a teacher to be the hero in their life? With a donation, large or small, you can make a difference by helping the Foundation to fund programs that enhance the learning experience. There are three ways to donate to this worthwhile cause:

1) Make a tax-exempt donation online.
2) Send your check to Ms. Brenda McPherson-Fry, President, Penn Wood Foundation, c/o Ardmore Avenue Elementary School, 502 Woodlawn Avenue, Collingdale, PA 19023.
3) Designate the Penn Wood Foundation Agency Code #8944 through the United Way campaign at your place of employment.

Please feel free to contact us via email. Your interest and support of the Penn Wood Foundation is important and appreciated.