by Julie Beckerman
The ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship recognizes Rockland County women who, through their actions or beliefs, embrace civic and community involvement, commitment to social justice, social equality and environment/eco-friendly lifestyles.
This year, two $1000 scholarships will be awarded: one to a promising woman who is a senior attending a private or public Rockland County high school, and one to a promising woman who is a senior attending Nyack High School. These scholarships will assist with costs in attending a college of their choice. Rockland County residents who identify as women will be considered regardless of sex assigned at birth. Well-rounded students who demonstrate a significant commitment of volunteer service to our community are encouraged to apply.
“The empowerment of young women is high on my list of priorities,” says Maria Luisa Whittingham, who created this scholarship in 2014. “The ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship Fund is my way of paying it forward.” Whittingham says she benefited from scholarships during her college years that allowed her to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. “It had always been a dream to ‘return the favor’ and support the next generation of female leaders,” she says.
In 2017, Melissa Denizard of Spring Valley High School became the third annual recipient of the ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship.
An additional scholarship has been added in 2018, specifically for a graduating senior attending Nyack High School.
The ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship is an outright grant. Although recipients are under no obligation to make repayment, it is hoped that once graduated and engaged in a productive career they will help honor the spirit of this scholarship to give future students a similar financial opportunity.
Applications for this scholarship can be downloaded from RocklandGives.org. The deadline for filing for the ML by Maria Luisa Scholarship is March 31, 2018.