Yolo Community Foundation offers scholarships to support high school seniors

Yolo Community Foundation offers scholarships to support high school seniors

Photo Credits: Katherine Hung / Aggie

Scholarship donor wants to help alleviate financial burdens for college students

Sacramento Region Community Foundation currently offers dozens of scholarship opportunities, including the Yolo Community Foundation’s scholarships. Each individual scholarship—most of which are due in March—has its own eligibility criteria, but they are generally offered to high school seniors or college students.

Executive Director of Yolo Community Foundation Jessica Hubbard explained that the organization and the community have been working to respond to economic challenges presented by COVID-19.

“A few issues that have really risen to the top in Yolo County include food insecurity, housing insecurity and mental health,” Hubbard said. “In addition, there are a lot of challenges for nonprofits about their own sustainability.”

Hubbard discussed the importance of providing students with scholarship opportunities, especially during the pandemic. She explained how college has always been expensive in the U.S., but it has never been more expensive than it is today.

“Giving students an opportunity to attend college and the resources that will help them do so is really important to make college accessible to a wider group of people,” Hubbard said.

The Yolo Youth Scholarship Award, which is due on March 12, typically requires high school seniors to volunteer 60 hours for a single nonprofit. Yolo Community Foundation understands that many students face volunteer restrictions due to COVID-19, and Hubbard describes how the requirements have been adjusted in light of this.

“We’ve changed the criteria to be 60 hours, but it’s okay if that was across multiple nonprofits,” Hubbard said.

Scholarships from the Yolo Community Foundation’s partners at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation open in December and are generally due in early March, but the time frames may change each year, according to Hubbard. Students can check the Sacramento Region Community Foundation website, which also provides a grid of the 2021 Scholarship Application criteria. 

Roy and Cynthia Kroener are donors behind the Yolo Community Foundation’s Roy and Cynthia Kroener Family Scholarship. Applicants must be a Davis high school senior. 

Roy Kroener explained that he and his wife are active in local communities. 

“The scholarship is a way of us trying to give back to the town,” Roy Kroener said. 

The couple have been offering this scholarship annually for seven years. The average award total is around $4,000, but may vary depending on the chosen applicant’s level of need.

“We awarded $4,000 all the years except one,” Roy Kroener said. “One person wanted to go to junior college. Their cost was significantly less; that individual we’ve ordered $3,000 to. If we ever see someone that has really special needs, we might go up to as high as $5,000.”

Roy Kroener said that he understands from experience that college is costly.

“Our son went to UC Davis and graduated 15 years ago,” Roy Kroener said. “We budgeted roughly $15,000 a year for his college education. It’s doubled now. It’s a challenge for families. We see students with large debt, and we just feel like it’s a small part that we can do to help.”

Today, the 2020-2021 Estimated Undergraduate Cost of Attendance for UC Davis students who reside in California and live on campus is $37,652. 

Roy Kroener advised student applicants to make sure that they fill out all of the requested information for a scholarship.

“Make sure to double check that you’re providing all the information in question,” Roy Kroener said.

Roy Kroener explained that it is obvious that some applicants put more time and thought into the essay portion than others. 

“We really do look hard at the essay we asked them to write,” Roy Kroener said.

On top of scholarships to support students during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yolo Community Foundation is currently running a panel series on community needs associated with the pandemic. 

Hubbard explained that the March 4 panel addressed food insecurity. 

“This week is food insecurity,” Hubbard said. “Future weeks include mental health, housing security and where we go from here.”
Written by: Ellie Lee — city@theaggie.org