NORTHAMPTON – For over twenty years, Joan Schuman led the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), creating and nurturing programs and resources that sought to provide the highest quality education for underserved students and the dedicated professionals who educate them. Her work as an innovative educational leader was transformative for the agency and its many beneficiaries.
But Schuman, who retired from CES last month, is quick to point out her path to success was made far easier by the excellent educational opportunities she had growing up. That’s why she is passionate about giving students who do not have such opportunities a chance to pursue their dreams, just as she did.
“My passion is to help all kids have the same educational opportunities I had. By establishing this scholarship fund, we are opening up possibilities for them to go on to higher education.”
The Joan E. Schuman Scholarship Fund will be launched at an invitation-only reception for Dr. Schuman, honoring her years as the leader of CES, on March 21st, 5-7 p.m. at the Hotel Northampton. The Fund will be administered by the Collaborative for Educational Services.
The scholarship will benefit special education students graduating from any Franklin or Hampshire County high school or CES’s HEC Academy, who are moving on to a two- or four-year higher education institution.
Schuman says that many students with special needs struggle in school until they get into an alternative school setting that supports their learning needs. “They may not have good study skills or they don’t pay attention in class. Once they get into a different setting they discover they are able to learn the material presented to them in a way they can absorb it.”
Schuman said the scholarship may inspire some students to consider pursuing post-secondary education. “Many of these students don’t have the same aspirations as students who have progressed more easily throughout their school years, but a scholarship may give them the motivation and financial support to pursue their studies and their dreams,” she said.
Nominations for scholarship candidates may be submitted by a student’s teacher(s) by April 30th each year. The finalist or finalists will be selected and notified by May 31. Recipients will be selected on the basis of their academic record and financial need. Donations to the fund are tax deductible.
For more information visit: http:/www.collaborative.org/schumanscholarship