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Last updated: February 01. 2014 5:01PM - 914 Views

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Area high school seniors whose parents are telephone service subscribers of SkyLine Membership Corporation and SkyBest Communications may apply for national scholarships available through Foundation for Rural Service (FRS).


FRS was established in 1994 by the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association (NTCA), of which SkyLine is a member.


The FRS promotes, educates and advocates rural telecom issues in order to sustain and enhance the quality of life within communities throughout rural America. Through its various programs and initiatives, the foundation strongly supports the continuing education of rural youth.


This year, 30 one-time, $2,500 FRS scholarships will be awarded to rural high school seniors: one per geographic region of the NTCA membership and one to a student sponsored by a NTCA associate member.


The remaining 19 awards will be distributed proportionate to the number of applications received per region. FRS will fund $2,000 of each scholarship, with the sponsoring cooperative of each winning student providing a $500 match.


According to the FRS, more than two-thirds of rural Americans with postsecondary degrees never return to their rural communities, so this program gives particular emphasis to those students who plan to return to their community following college. Other eligibility requirements include the following:


Applicants must be children of SkyLine members or SkyBest customers who subscribe to either company’s telephone services.


Applicants must be graduating from high school this year and reside full-time with their parent(s) in the companies’ service area.


Applicants must have at least a “C” grade-point-average (GPA). FRS scholarships will be awarded to deserving students whose academic credentials fall within an average to above-average range.


Applicants must be accepted to an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocational-technical school.


Applicants must express an interest to return to a rural community following graduation.


Applications must be sponsored by SkyLine, an NTCA-member company.


A scholarship established in 2012 by Manny and Leo Staurulakis of John Staurulakis, Inc. will be awarded in conjunction with the FRS Scholarship. The FRS Staurulakis Family Scholarships will provide four one-year, $5,000 awards and will give preference to students with an interest in science, math, medicine or engineering.


In addition to the FRS Scholarship, all applicants with a focus in the sciences will be automatically considered for the new FRS Staurulakis Family Scholarship.


Additionally two TMS Scholarships, worth $1,500 each, will be awarded to two students based on the same criteria as the FRS Scholarship. In 2014, a total of 36 scholarships, worth $98,000, will be awarded through the FRS.


Scholarship applications are available at all area high school guidance departments and at SkyLine Customer Service Centers in West Jefferson, Seven Devils and Sparta. Scholarship information and application forms also may be accessed through SkyLine’s website, www.skyline.org.


Completed applications must be submitted to SkyLine’s corporate offices by Friday, Feb. 14. All applicants must be sponsored by SkyLine, and completed applications received by this deadline will be signed by a SkyLine official and submitted to the FRS for consideration by the March 3 postmark deadline.


If any SkyLine-sponsored students are named winners, they will be announced in May. Since 2006, 12 area students have received FRS-related scholarships, including Monica Miller, Hayley Ragland and Sara Williams, all of Ashe County, who were named winners in 2013.


For more information about these national scholarships, please contact Karen Powell, SkyLine Public Relations Administrator, at SkyLine’s corporate offices at 1-800-759-2226.


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