Mr. and Mrs. Cardenas and family pose with their daughter and sister, Brenda Cardenas, while Jill Tanking and McKinley Principal Kathaleen Wedel hand Brenda the Jean Randall Scholarship paperwork. Brenda is a second grade student at McKinley Elementary School. Courtesy photo
• Special to the Leader & Times
Second-grader Brenda Cardenas of McKinley Elementary School is this year’s 2011 recipient of the annual Jean Randall Scholarship.
Every year, an 8-year-old or second-grade student is selected from one of the local schools. Jean Randall provides scholarship money to be put into the fund for that student. When the student reaches the age of 18 or starts college, he or she will have money to start their education.
In the beginning, Mrs. Randall would pick the students, asking for lists of students from the area schools who needed assistance. Currently, she rotates alphabetically each school every year.
Mrs. Randall’s motivation to support this scholarship is the need to help children gain an education.
“A college education is so expensive anymore,” Randall said. “This scholarship won’t pay for all of it, but maybe it will help them.”
The scholarship can be used for a four-year college, two-year college, a vo-tech – any school the student desires.
“It can be for music or dance school – I don’t care what profession they choose, so long as they get an education.” Randall said.
The scholarship is given to second-grade students in hopes it will encourage their parents to encourage them.
“If a parent knows they will have this help; maybe it will prompt them to encourage their children to achieve more,” Randall said. “Grades are important, but not all young people make good grades. If they work hard enough and want it bad enough – they can do what they want.
“I just ask them to let me know when they graduate (from high school),” Randall said. “If they need money then, we can sell some of the funds for them, but at the age of 21, it’s theirs, regardless.”
Randall said in case of serious illness or financial hardship, the money goes to them and their parents if they need it prior to reaching age 21.