Nordstrom Awards $10K to Student
An announcement today surprises a student at South River High with a scholarship.
Taylor Collins, a South River High senior, didn't think too much of all the people with cameras in his English class because he was told they were doing a documentary on the school. Collins was surprised when Nordstrom representatives stepped forward with a large check with his name on it. In all, 40 students nationwide will receive a Nordstrom $10,000 scholarship. Collins was the first of five recipients to be notified in the DC-Metro area. The award will be paid out in $2,500 annual installments over four years.
Collins, 18, is the first student in the DC-metro area to receive the award. According to a Nordstrom spokesperson, there were 418 applicants this year. Overcome with emotion, Collins told the room full of press that he would like to study mechanical engineering and technology, maybe at Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Collins addressed his classmates and said that applying for a scholarship isn't an easy process but is worth the effort.
It's important to announce the award in front of other students to encourage them to apply for scholarships too, said Jerzy Romanowski, regional diversity affairs director for Nordstrom.
Students in Collins' fourth-period class reacted in awe and enjoyed celebratory cupcakes provided by Nordstrom. One student proclaimed that "just getting $10 to put towards college would be helpful so Collins getting $10,000 is amazing."
Since 1993, Nordstrom has awarded college scholarships to high school students across the country. Members of event staff and sales managers from the store at Westfield Annapolis mall were on hand to witness the event. Norma Lund, who is the department manager for Studio 121 at the mall, said Nordstrom's community involvement is "cutting edge — just like Nordstrom's customers." Lund added that the Nordstrom at Westfield Annapolis mall will be getting Wi-Fi on Nov. 1.
Ellen Greene, the scholarship coordinator who works for Nordstrom's corporate offices in Seattle, said she was "lucky to help with the announcement today." She joked about being part of the "prize patrol" and added that Nordstrom loves to partner with the community to celebrate students' successes. The applications for the 2011 scholarship will be online around Jan. 15 and students must apply in their junior year by May 15.
To be considered for the award, students must have an unweighted grade-point average of at least 2.7 and be eligible to attend a four-year college in the United States. Regional selection committees, made up of local community leaders, interview scholarship finalists in person before determining a winner.
Collins is captain of South River's robotics team and mentors junior varsity members of the team, as well as members of middle school robotics team members. Ryan Sackett, an engineering teacher at the school, wrote a recommendation letter for Collins and said that the school helped him prepare by holding a mock interview.
Collins has overcome many challenges related to Tourette syndrome and his family is so proud, especially mom Brooke Chapman and Diana Kinder. Both looked teary-eyed when speaking about Collins.
"He's a fantastic kid," said Kinder. "His personality speaks for himself."
Chapman remained amazingly composed but admitted that she'd known about the award for three days. She said that the school knew longer but waited to tell her because "moms have a big mouth."