When long-time League member Winona Smith passed away, using bequests in her memory, the League established within the education fund a memorial scholarship in her honor. The scholarship was a natural outgrowth of Winona’s devotion to Vermont’s school children and her commitment to civic engagement. During her career, Winona had devoted her energies to ensuring that Vermont students received the best possible education. After high school, she wanted them to have the means to continue that learning beyond secondary schooling. With funds from both sources, the Winona Smith Scholarship was born.
From the Education Fund, each year, three to four Winona Smith Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 are awarded to a Vermont resident in his or her senior year of high school. Recipients must demonstrate an interest in civic participation and community service, have a need for financial aid, and come highly recommended by one of his or her instructors. Scholarship money can be used for tuition for college, vocational training, or other career oriented preparation.
The League received over 30 submissions for the scholarships in 2019. While it was difficult to pick among so many worthy candidates, the League congratulates these 2019 recipients and thanks all students for their outstanding applications.
Recent Recipients of the Winona Smith Scholarship
- Makayla Chouinard. She is the daughter of Kimberely Hickory, of Barre. Makayla, who will graduate from Spaulding High School, is a member of the National Honors Society and participates in band, student council, chorus and the drama club. She wrote essays on how racism impacts voting rights and the rise of school shootings and mass attacks on various public places. In the fall she is interested in pursuing a degree in the sciences, and has been accepted at several colleges and universities.
- Elexia Hodgdon. Elexia is the daughter of Andrea Phelps of Hardwick and is a senior at Craftsbury High School. She participates on the yearbook committee, the dance team, in theater and is a member of the National Honors Society. Her essays were on the voting rights of ex-offenders and on the ability of women to make their own reproductive choices. She is interested in a degree in legal services and has been accepted at several colleges and universities.
- Dharma Neil. Dharma is the daughter of Tabitha Neil of Killington. She attends Woodstock Union High School and is a member of the National Honors Society. She serves as a volunteer in the Woodstock Special Education program and at the local elementary school. Dharma wrote essays on the efficacy of voting and on climate change. In the fall, she will pursue a degree in Special Education at Simmons University.
- Jennifer Tedesco. She is the daughter of R.L. and Patricia Tedesco of East Calais. She is a senior at Hazen Union High School where she participates in band, basketball, track and field, and is on the debate team. She is a member of the National Honors Society and is an officer in SADD. Jennifer’s essays included thoughts on the Electoral College and the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral. She will attend Sacred Heart University to major in history.
- Anna Beach, Spaulding High School
- Hunter Cliche, Twinfield Union School
- Erin Magill, Harwood Union High School
- Jshauna Tilton, Bellows Free Academy, Fairfax
- Gracie Baker of Bellows Free Academy
- Jennie Mull of Burr and Burton Academy
- Julia Stergas of Bellows Free Academy
- Cordelia Bell, Bellows Free Academy
- Cole LaVoie, Harwood Union High School
- Aenea Mead, Harwood Union High School
- Catherine Ware, Hazen Union School
- Jesse Keel, Arlington High School
- Luke Lapean, Mount Anthony Union High School
- Hannah Patterson, Mount Anthony Union High School
- Isabelle Strong, Stowe High School