Robert and Bertha Bird Scholarship Fund Application Instruction Packet

  1. Background: In 2004 Robert and Bertha Bird bequeathed assets to Faith Presbyterian church specifying the establishment of the Scholarship fund to be awarded annually to the candidate(s) who is associated with Faith Church and demonstrates outstanding qualities of church and community service, scholastic excellence and a desire to continue his or her education beyond high school. The ideal candidate is a graduating high school senior who combines these qualities to the highest degree and is going on to college.
  2. Purpose:The purpose of this packet is to assist you in completing your application and understanding how your application will be evaluated and the decision made to award the scholarship.
  3. Who can apply:Anyone who is a member of or is related to a member of Faith Presbyterian Church and is planning on attending an institution of learning beyond the high school level is eligible to apply.
  4. Who will receive the award:The award will be given to the most highly qualified total candidate(s) on an annual basis. The candidate(s) must acquire a total score of at least 60 out of 100 possible points. The Session of Faith Presbyterian Church makes the decision on who receives the annual award based on the recommendation of a three-person group, appointed annually by the Session. This committee will be made up of a member-at-large of the Faith congregation, a member of the Christian Education Youth sub-committee and a member of the Finance Committee. One of these members will be an active elder and act as the liaison to the Session. The Director of Christian Education will act as the moderator of the committee.  The Session, via the three-person group, evaluates each completed application and uses the criteria outlined in this packet to rank order applications and determine which are most deserving. There is no annual limit on how many applicants can receive the award but the total dollar amount dispersed cannot exceed annual interest earned from the Robert and Bertha Bird Scholarship Fund.Priority will be given to graduating high school seniors planning on attending college. The money will be distributed to the award recipient and must be utilized towards their Fall semester tuition. The recipient will present a receipt from their learning institution that acknowledges the funds were used within the required timeframe. The Session may make the decision to defer scholarship award to subsequent years.
  5. Timeframe:Completed applications must be received through an online scholarship portal by Friday, March 1 at 4pm est. The scholarship portal is through The Community Foundation’s website. Personal interviews with applicants by the committee will be held during the month of March. The committee will evaluate the applications after the completion of the interview process and will present their recommendation(s) to the Session at their April meeting. A decision will be made and announced by the end of April. Funds will be dispersed prior to July 30th. A plaque commemorating the award will be placed in a prominent place in the church and an individual trophy presented to the recipient(s) annually.
  6. Application:The application is available through an online scholarship system at The Community Foundation web site at The application asks candidates to submit information in five areas. These five areas are: Administrative data; Service to Faith Presbyterian Church; Service to community; a personal essay; and Scholastic aptitude. Each of these areas is explained as follows:

Administrative data: This section allows the candidate to provide information necessary to transact business with the church.

Service to Faith Presbyterian Church: This portion of the application is worth a maximum of 40 points. 20 of those points can come from the total number of hours the applicant has served Faith Church. Additionally, a maximum of 20 points will come from a subjective evaluation of the quality of the service provided. This scoring rubric takes into account the fact that long-term continuous dedication to church works are of genuine value while allowing consideration of works of an especially difficult or meaningful nature, but of shorter duration, on an equal basis.

Examples of Service to Church are: Choir Member, Bell Ringer, Youth Group Leadership, Youth Elder, Youth Missions Work, Vacation Bible School teacher or Assistant, Youth Usher, Door Greeter, Nursing Home Visits or Set up coffee Hour Table, etc.

Scholastic Aptitude: This portion of the application is worth a maximum of 30 points. Ten points each can be earned by the applicant in the areas of Cumulative Grade Point Average, SAT or ACT Score and Earned Academic Honors. A link will be included in the application under the Scholastic Aptitude section.

Request For Transcript: The applicant should give the request for transcript to his or her guidance counselor and ask that the form be filled out and that a transcript be provided to accompany your completed application. Additionally, the applicant should complete the CONSENT FOR REALEASE OF EDUCATION RECORDS / CONSENT FORM FOR RELEASE OR DISCLOSURE OF EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION form, have it witnessed, sign it and provide it to the counselor to document your authorization for release of your academic information. A link will be included in the application under the Scholastic Aptitude section.

A Personal Essay: This portion of the application is worth a maximum of 20 points. The applicant is asked to provide an original typed-written essay on Why you feel you are qualified to receive the scholarship. The essay’s content should focus on how the applicant meets the Bird’s ideal candidate qualifications combining service to Faith Church, their community and scholastic achievement. 15 possible points can be earned from the subjective evaluation of the essay’s content. 5 points maximum can be earned from the correct mechanics of the essay. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure are important.

Service to Community: This portion of the application is worth a maximum of 10 points. 5 of those points can come from the total number of hours the applicant has served the communities in which he or she has lived. Additionally, a maximum of 5 points will come from a subjective evaluation of the quality of the service provided. As with the rubric above, long-term dedication and high-quality works are considered on an equal basis.

Examples of Community Service are: Hurricane Relief Assistance, Habitat for Humanity, Hospital Volunteer, veterinarian hospital Volunteer, Boy/Girl Scouts, Other Volunteer efforts, etc.

An applicant’s total score consists of the number of points derived by summing the points earned in each area. The maximum point total is 100.

  1. Personal Interview: In addition to the application, the committee will meet with each candidate to clarify their understanding of the Bird Scholarship requirements and to review the applicant’s package.
  2. Review Scholarship Award Program: The selected committee will review the scholarship Award Program annually.Recommended revisions will be presented and approved by the Session.

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