SRC unveils $1,000 scholarship essay contest

typingThe following letter has been sent to 16 school superintendents and high school principals throughout the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club’s area of service and influence.

It is part of the revamped scholarship awards program approved for 2014 by the club Board of Directors.

Southern  Rensselaer County Rotary Club

News of this New York State club that practices “Service Above Self”

January 25, 2014


 The Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club today announced it is offering 2014 graduating high school seniors the opportunity to win one of two $500 scholarship awards.

 As part of this public service, we are inviting students from a number of schools in Rensselaer County to submit 1,000-word essays on the topic of the service organization’s “FOUR-WAY TEST” that governs all activities of the 1.2 million Rotarians worldwide.

(1) Is it the truth?

(2) Is it fair to all concerned?

(3) Will it build good will and better friendships?

(4) Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

The essay should explain the student’s personal understanding of the FOUR-WAY TEST and how it relates to his or her life experiences and/or society. How does it influence what they say, think and do?

A committee of Rotarians with backgrounds in the fields of education and communications will review the entries and select one boy and one girl as scholarship recipients. The committee will verify with the school the eligibility of the scholarship winners and provide a check and certificate of achievement in time for presentation during graduation or other honors ceremonies.

Beyond publicizing this opportunity for your students, nothing is required of the schools. Students will submit essays directly to the SRC Rotary Club.


The essays will be judged on five criteria, with each counting 20% toward the final score.

Focus: How the student displayed awareness and understanding of the purpose of the essay.

Content Development: How well did the student display the story line consistent with the purpose of the essay.

Organization: How well did the author present a skillful pattern on the narrative presenting key points.

Style: How well the student uses control of the language, literary devices, sentence and paragraph structure.

Subjective Assessment: Evaluator’s overall assessment of the essay.

Essays must be submitted on paper, with a separate lead page containing the  student’s name, school, home address and telephone number. That page also must contain the following statement, signed by the student and co-signed by one parent:

“I declare that the research and written work on this essay are mine alone. I understand that it becomes the property of the Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club, which may publish it in printed or electronic format.”

All essays must be submitted no later than April 1, 2014, to:

Southern Rensselaer County Rotary Club

c/o President April L. Dowd

7 Hyland Circle

Troy, NY 12182


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