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By Katy Craig
Special to The SUN
Gabrielle Pajak, a senior at Pagosa Springs High School, has been named one of only 40 2013 Boettcher Foundation Scholarship recipients. Boettcher Scholars are awarded “full-ride” merit-based scholarships to attend a college or university within the state of Colorado.
Recently announced by Tim Schultz, the president and executive director of the Boettcher Foundation, the list of Boettcher Scholars includes some of the most promising young people from across the state. Just to be eligible to apply, each student had to be in at least the top 5 percent of their class and have a combined score of at least 1,200 on the Critical Reading and Math sections of the SAT or a score of at least 27 on the ACT.
“The goal of the Boettcher Scholarship program,” explained Schultz, “is to keep the best talent in Colorado here by connecting them with the outstanding opportunities offered by our in-state institutions. We know that these students will become leaders on their campuses and continue serving others with their gifts, thereby contributing to the greater Colorado community.”
Now in its 60th year, the Boettcher Scholarship program has awarded more than 2,200 scholarships, with over $3 million paid out each year. This places the program among the largest merit-based scholarship programs in the nation.
The scholarship Pajak has been awarded includes virtually all college expenses to attend the Colorado school of her choice: full tuition, fees, a book allowance and an annual stipend for living expenses. The award is granted for eight semesters at either a public or private four-year college or university in the state — as long as the Scholar maintains a cumulative GPA of 3.0.
“The selection process to earn this competitive award is extremely rigorous,” notes Scholarship Program Director Katy Craig. “Over thirteen hundred students apply each year and only forty are awarded scholarships. Gabrielle really stood out for us with her accomplishments both in and out of the classroom. We’re proud to have her representing the Boettcher family.”
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