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Last year the Early Awareness Committee (EAC) was ecstatic to be able to offer a scholarship to a Missouri graduating Senior in May 2018. The MASFAP Who’s Making a Difference Scholarship submission requirements were to submit an entry form, write an essay (300 word maximum) describing a person in the student’s life who was inspiring them to fulfill their post-secondary education dreams, and submit a selfie of the two together. The scholarship can be used in the fall of 2018 at any Missouri institution for tuition, institutional fees, room, board, or books.
We were over the moon to receive over 300 entries! The EAC voted to pick the top five entries and we presented them to the membership at the 2017 conference. The members, attending the conference, were able to read the stories and submit a vote on their favorite story. After much consideration, we were able to offer two $1,000.00 scholarship and three $250.00 scholarships.
Kayla and I wanted to do something big when we presented the two $1,000.00 scholarships to the winners. Thanks to Laura and Tim Steinbeck, we were able to get some BIG checks printed to surprise the students at their schools. We organized with the high school counselors to come to the school to bring the check and the balloons (I know what you are thinking; totally clearing house, right!?).
When driving to deliver the first check we did not know what to expect and were a little nervous. However, I can tell you neither of us expected to cry… but we did and so did everyone else in the office. The student was so thankful and surprised, it really touched EVERYONE’s heart (even the principal that was dressed up for ugly sweatshirt day). We could not wait to deliver the second check.
Unfortunately, on the second check delivery, Kayla could not join me. Nevertheless, we were so excited to be doing it again! This time I was not nervous, I was just anxious to see how the student reacted since her story had touched my heart the most out of all the stories we read. I met with the Superintendent, Principal, High School Counselor, and the student’s aunt. We all waited anxiously for the student to come down the hall and see me standing there with this BIG check and balloons. It did not take long for something to get in my eye after seeing her reaction… thank goodness for waterproof mascara!
Kayla and I are so thankful for this opportunity and we wish we could deliver more checks. However, we could not have done it without this awesome organization. THANK YOU MASFAP for allowing us to do what we love and allow us to keep spreading the LOVE across the state!
Alex Miller is MASFAP’s 2018 Vice President and Program Chair, and she was the 2017 Early Awareness Chair
Kayla Klein is the 2018 Early Awareness Chair
All my life I have loved to volunteer! As a young child in elementary school, it began with agreeing to help my teacher. Then in high school when I could drive, my best friend and I volunteered for ‘Meals on Wheels.’ Later in my college days, I volunteered to be a side walker for Therapeutic Horsemanship. As I became a mother, I volunteered as a room parent, a Girl Scout Leader/Cookie mom and an Advancement Coordinator for Boy Scouts. Heck! I was even a PSR teacher for second graders. My family has volunteered together at the Emmaus Homes. As a professional, when I think about volunteering the first thing that comes to mind is MASFAP. I have volunteered to serve on committees and to serve on the Executive Board for MASFAP. I even volunteered to run as MASFAP President… and here I am! Although my involvement and extent of volunteerism has progressed over the years, all of these have many things in common. They all have made me feel more fulfilled, enabled me to meet new people, helped me grow as a person and grow my network of colleagues to call on for thoughts and opinions – I have learned so much from others through volunteering!
Volunteering to be on a committee for MASFAP is like any other activities you have volunteered for in your life, and I know you will not regret it! You will collaborate with like-minded people, feel like you belong (which makes you feel good), probably learn something new and definitely expand your financial aid circle of friends! Of course all of this happens through giving, because when you give of your time and talent, there is nothing greater! Together we accomplish so much.
So….MASFAP….I am calling on you! Please get engaged and get involved on a MASFAP committee – the Early Awareness and Program committees are always looking for members like you… the Technology committee is looking for members who will assist with AV at the conference…choose a larger committee or one that you would like to know more about… but I hope you will take the time to volunteer for one. Now, as the New Year has begun, is the perfect time to take the next step and volunteer.
To volunteer: Go to www.masfap.org, click on Member Services, and then Volunteer! You will have use your MASFAP login.
You can view a general list of committees and the committee descriptions: https://www.masfap.org/docs/forms/comm_descript.html
The 2018 Executive Board looks forward to collaborating with you!
Yesterday, the 2018 MASFAP Board met to collaborate on the coming year for MASFAP. The day included reviewing responsibilities and expectations, a budget and finance overview, board use of the website including reaching out to volunteers, setting goals, planning the year on the calendar and teambuilding. Attached are some pictures taken yesterday at this 1-day board retreat in Columbia.
You kind of get nostalgic when you go through photos, newsletters, and memorabilia that spans several decades… particularly since I will be retiring soon. Not many of us MASFAPIANS (the term coined by Cindy Butler) can look at stuff from 30+ years ago and remember when it actually happened. There were four of us on the Archives Committee during this past year that were able to do just that to some degree or another—Melinda Wood, Cindy Butler, Karen Harden, and myself. It was a privilege to work with Melinda and Cindy as life-time MASFAP members and current members, Kelly Fleming, Erika Holzinger, Ashley Richardson, Karen Harden, and Kathy Dixon to prepare a display of archived materials collected over the years and to publish the MASFAP 50th Anniversary Memory Book. It was a labor of love and we felt so honored to be recognized at the conference by President Hager for our committee work. We really had wished Cindy could have been there with us to celebrate. This is such a wonderful group of people to work with who were so dedicated, creative, and productive. Erika way out did herself on the committee and producing a new little human being this past October —Adalyn Violet. Congratulations and kudos to Erika who was definitely the committee over achiever!
As I end my year as Archive Chair and will shortly end my career in Financial Aid, I can’t help but be sentimental about my MASFAP memories. This organization has allowed me to learn so much about financial aid. It has provided a network of colleagues that have always been willing to listen to my problems, provide insight, offer solutions, and to have some great fun with. MASFAP has provided an opportunity for professional development and to meet so many wonderful people who are truly dedicated to this industry and to helping students. I have seen, first hand, what it looks like when people are passionate about what they do. You can’t help but know each of you are truly touching the lives of students in a positive, life changing way. Keep fighting for students, MASFAP!
So let me dry my eyes and wrap this up. MASFAP offers something for everyone. You will get way more out of MASFAP than you will ever have to put in. Once you get involved in the organization, you will want to continue to be involved. You can make a difference in the lives of students when they really need it. And every five years you get to celebrate another milestone of being awesome.
Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a new year filled with health, hope, happiness, and prosperity.