By Joey McWilliams
DURANT – “Protecting families from financial hardship and giving back to our communities.”
Those are the two principles WoodmenLife was founded on and principles typified in the giving of a scholarship.
The first such scholarship awarded by WoodmenLife in the Durant area went this last year to Megan Robinson, a Rock Creek graduate in the Class of 2017. Robinson is currently attending Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
The Focus Forward Scholarship is given to those who are or will be attending a two-year or four-year college, university or technical school among WoodmenLife members in good standing with at least three years membership.
Robinson, who was Miss Rock Creek in 2016, was chosen through her application, which entailed essays and criteria including career goals, volunteer activity, patriotism, work history, test scores and GPA.
The above quote regarding the principles of WoodmenLife since its inception 127 years ago came from Brandon Armstrong, who is the recruiting sales manager for the southern part of Oklahoma and whose main role is to take care of membership in this part of the state.
“We were happy to help Megan and her family,” Armstrong said.
“This is the second full year that we’ve had that scholarship available. Woodmen has committed to $1 million per year in scholarships, ranging from $500 all the way up to several $25,000 scholarships that are available to high school seniors.”
The application period for students to apply for this year’s scholarship in online now. It is available for those who have already graduated in May 2017 or those who are going to graduate in May 2018.
And Armstrong, a Durant High School alum (Class of 2003), said the opportunity to win one of these scholarships is there for those who qualify.
“Woodmen has earmarked $1 million toward this scholarship,” Armstrong said. “And last year, we did not hit that million-dollar mark. In fact, we just gave barely over $500,000 away. And that was because of applications.
“Everybody in the state of Oklahoma last year that applied and was qualified got some sort of scholarship.”
WoodmenLife is a not-for-profit financial organization with an objective to work with families to secure their future. Armstrong said the Focus Forward Scholarship is just one of the many ways that the organization is able to do that.
“I’m very proud of this scholarship. We’ve been trying to push it for a while now. We’re currently in the application process period now and the application period ends Feb. 28.
The Focus Forward Scholarship application can be found online HERE at the WoodmenLife website.