Johnson College has recently established a scholarship with the Jefferson Township Lions Club. The $1,000 scholarship will be awarded to a non-traditional, first year student who is a resident of Jefferson Township or the greater North Pocono region. The Lions Club emphasized the importance of supporting non-traditional students who choose to attend the College despite challenges such as balancing a family, work, and bills.
In March, President of the Jefferson Township Lions Club, Mike Norvilas took a welding course at the College through the Center for Professional Development. He was very impressed with the continuing education offerings and opportunities for non-traditional students. His interest in the technical education that Johnson College provides inspired him to reach out about the scholarship.
“Over the years it has been harder and harder to get applicants for our scholarship who were finishing high school and pursuing a trade. So we decided we could create the scholarship through Johnson College and open it up to all students, not just those who were on their way right out of high school,” Norvilas said. He also explained why an ideal candidate may be a non-traditional student. “When you make the decision to go back to school as an adult, it is a really big choice. You are putting yourself out there to learn and better yourself. Our scholarship could really be life changing for the student and their family,” he said.
The goal of the Lions Club is to have people put their talents to work to improve their community. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in more than 45,000 clubs. The Jefferson township Lions Club supports many needs in the community and provides services including but not limited to sight, health, youth, elderly, the environment and disaster relief. Norvilas said they do not have a specific fundraiser that supports the scholarship but annually they are an active club that hosts a variety of fundraisers including a “chicken barbecue, pig roast, raffles, bake sales, fish dinners during the Lenten season, and coin drops.” He explained that often a Lions Club is a community’s best kept secret and year after year they continue to live up to the club’s motto which is “we serve.”
After working with the college advancement department to set up the new award, Norvilas said the process could not have been easier. He looks forward to awarding the scholarship in the fall and feels great about taking this new step toward community outreach with the College.