Finalists for the annual presentation of scholarships by the Arrupe Scholars Program for Social Action will be named on April 1 at John Carroll University.
The scholarship presentation will finalize a six week long search and filter of students that exemplify critical thinking and engagement in social justice, as well as participation in community service that leads to social action.
Five current JCU students will receive the scholarship, as well as 20 incoming freshman. The award amounts to approximately $13,000.
Peggy Finucane, director for the Center of Community Service, and Chris Kerr, coordinator of Social Justice, have guided along the lengthy application process, in which each student must complete a one-credit seminar appropriate to the grade level of the students.
“Because it’s the first year we wanted to have [current] students to mentor the incoming students,” said Finucane.
“They would be like our first class and be the mentors to the incoming students.”
Each student must write an essay to be selected. Incoming high school seniors applying for the program will be judged by their application essays. Active potential students must answer questions formed by the late Pedro Arrupe, superior general of the Society of Jesus and inspiration for the award.
Kerr said, “For this year, our admissions counselors are reviewing thousands of applications. They were looking for students that displayed significant involvement in social justice through both their applications and listing of involvement, and also their essays.”
Along with a written evaluation, the selection committee bases criteria on relevant course work relevant community service work, and a 2.0 grade point average. The ad hoc committee thought using the university norm as a benchmark requirement for the award would make the scholarship available to a range of students.
“It’s not that we don’t want academically talented students – we do. But we also recognize that there are students who are talented and excel in other ways they have different types of skills that may not be best demonstrated inside the classroom,” said Finucane.
Both Finucane and Kerr said the award is designed to recognize a variety of talents incorporated into making a difference with social work.
“Essentially the process was that these students submitted their applications, which were reviewed by a committee of student affairs professionals and faculty. They chose 11 to receive interviews for five spots,” said Finucane.
“They’ve really gone through a lot.”
“Watching the interview process happen, it really illustrates how the engagement in social services is growing here at John Carroll,” said Kerr. “It just shows the type of student we have here.”