Chamber of Commerce opens scholarship applications

The Greene County Chamber of Commerce is offering two scholarships to local students who are looking to attend school. The scholarships called the Greene County Chamber of Commerce Educational Fund and the Rotary Scholarship, have deadlines that close in mid-April. Both scholarships have been around for decades and renew annually.

Melody Longstreth, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Rotary Scholarship Fund, was able to provide insights into the scholarships. About 35 years ago the chamber decided to create a scholarship, which would ultimately be named the 33rd Annual Greene County Chamber of Commerce Educational Fund. This scholarship is worth $1,500, and also includes a laptop donated by PC SQUARED.

“We like to encourage the kids to participate and take advantage of it,” Longstreth said. “We always have a pretty decent number of applicants, but we always want to make sure they know it is available and that they participate in the process.”

According to Longstreth, fundraising efforts were necessary to start the scholarship, including a calendar raffle. For the following years, the chamber continued fundraising efforts at its annual banquet such as basket raffles which were donated by members’ businesses and individuals associated with the chamber.

Some qualifications for the scholarship include being a senior in high school with a  3.0 GPA that is verified by a guidance counselor, a written essay explaining how they can make a positive impact on their community through their education, and having applied and been accepted into a technical school or college. The essays are judged blindly by a panel of judges, usually around a dozen people, and then their choices will be narrowed down to the top five applicants. If the applicants are close in the running, the Chamber reserves the right, and has in past years, to hold individual interviews.

The deadline to apply for the 33rd Annual Greene County Chamber of Commerce Educational Fund Scholarship closes on April 13, and will be awarded in May at its business connection luncheon which will be held at Waynesburg University. 

As for the Rotary scholarship, the topic is “service above self,” given that the Rotary is an international service club. This scholarship awards $1,000 to two Greene County high school seniors. Qualification criteria include a written essay on what the phrase service above self means to them, letters of recommendation and a list of community service and involvement. Longstreth said the judges for the scholarship are, “looking for children that have been very engaged and involved in serving their community.” 

Closing on April 17, the Rotary scholarship will be awarded in June at the annual Rotary dinner. 

“We are always proud of the kids and hope that as many apply that meet the criteria,” Longstreth said. “I’m sure every year we choose a very worthy candidate, and this year will be no exception.” 

More information can be found on the Greene County Chamber of Commerce’s  website at, or by calling 724-627-5926.