By Rose S. Prinzi
This month will mark the first time an award will be given to a local Frewsburg student through the Mrs. Mary Lou Edwards Children’s Scholarship Fund. Mrs. Edwards, a Frewsburg Central School English teacher, passed away on April 7, 2008 following her courageous battle with cancer. She will long be remembered by her students, fellow teachers and friends for her exacting standards and her unique approach to life.
The Mrs. Mary Lou Edwards Children’s Scholarship Fund was established to assist a graduating Frewsburg Central School senior who has displayed the traits of a well-rounded young person. This person should have a proven record of working well in a group, be involved in community service and illustrate leadership abilities.
Sometimes, people become legends long after they have passed on; but, because of her outgoing spirit, her strong belief in her fellow man and the volume of people she touched, Mrs. Edwards became a legend in her own time. Her reputation preceded her as underclassmen would hear about her, knowing that they may have her as a teacher once they reached the high school. She enjoyed the older students and challenged them to reach the standards she felt they could achieve. Mrs. Edwards who, purely by her presence and beliefs, had such an influence on the people she worked with she will be affectionately remembered. Frewsburg’s Coach Terry Gray was a student of Mrs. Edwards in the 1980’s. He later returned as a faculty member. He fondly remembers Mrs. Edwards having “never cut him any slack as a student or a teacher.” He remembers her telling young teachers, “…come in like a lion, and stay that way!”
The standards Mrs. Edward’s set forth for her students were high. Standards her students sometimes felt they may not be able to reach. However, her belief in her students and those around her was so strong that the unobtainable was obtained. She was strong minded and never accepted less than what she thought people could achieve.
This month also marks the time of year when those applying for scholarships through the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will be notified of the results of their request. As applicants receive their Community Foundation letters, they should be mindful of the scholarship fund from which the scholarship money was awarded. The name of the fund is often the name of a special person(s) in which the fund was named after and established in their memory. Their legacy will live on as a result of a fund established at the Community Foundation just like Mrs. Edwards.
This year, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation will award over $800,000 in scholarships to local students. Scholarship funds, like the one established in Mrs. Edwards’ name, not only assist students but will keep the memory of a very special person alive for generations to come.
For more information about the Foundation’s scholarship program, call 661-3390. Chautauqua Region Community Foundation scholarship applications are completed and submitted electronically at www.crcfonline.org. The Foundation will begin accepting applications for the 2009-2010 academic year on March 1, 2009.