In 2014, the Barlow College & Career Center began to offer its Bruin Pride Scholarship to graduating seniors. It began as a way of recognizing students who showed great effort and determination to go to college but who had not had much success with winning the bigger and more well known scholarships.
“As a way to create a fund, I began cleaning up cans and bottles around campus and putting them into a Bottle Drop account to be used to recognize those kids. The first year, the scholarship was a mere $200, but that small amount made a big difference in a kid’s belief in himself and his future. That recognition is what has inspired us to continue and grow our efforts.
Since that day, we have expanded the program to include our Environmental Science classes. The students in the course commit to providing recycling containers throughout our school and to emptying them bi-weekly. They are eliminating copious and expensive waste from dumpsters headed to a landfill. They are also providing funds to better their classmates’ futures.
From the recycling containers, we are now gathering about 6 full Bottle Drop bags of cans and bottles per week. That equates to approximately $40. Each year the goal has increased and we are now striving for a $4000 goal or 8 $500 scholarships. (Last year we were able to award 6 $500 scholarships.)
This has become a school wide effort to assist hard working students, recognize the need to live more sustainably, create a cleaner school environment and develop an inviting and rewarding activity for our kids. The community has joined in the effort, too. Residents have responded to news stories in our local media regarding our determination to expand our scholarships. Many donations of cans and bottles have resulted. The Bottle Drop has also contributed matching funds, on occasion, to help the effort and assist in reaching our goal.
This scholarship has become a community betterment initiative. It has helped our youth to reach their goal of achieving a higher education. It has involved a wide variety of students, staff and residents. It has eliminated thousands of dollars of waste disposal and it has created a more sustainable community on campus.
Sam Barlow High School is proud to be a part of the many positive aspects of this program.”
SBHS College Coordinator