Twenty-seven booksellers have been selected to receive more than $100,000 as part of the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s 2018 Higher Education Scholarship Program, the organization announced Thursday, May 24.
Booksellers from 23 stores in 21 states, who attend 27 different schools, were awarded a total of $109,000 to reach their educational goals. The recipients were chosen from a pool of 159 applicants, comprised of bookstore owners, booksellers, former Borders Books employees, or their dependents.
The Foundation received a trove of thank-you notes following the announcement, with booksellers sharing how this scholarship will help them thrive.
“As you well know, no one pursues a career in bookselling or education with the ultimate goal of having deep pockets, but the economic challenge to make this happen can be overwhelming,” said recipient Hannah Richardson, who works at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café in Asheville, North Carolina. “Thank you for helping to ease this burden, supporting my education and making me feel like an important member of the book community.”
Overall, Binc gave out two $10,000 scholarships, 24 $3,500 scholarships, and one $5,000 Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship, which is granted to an independent bookstore employee candidate who has overcome learning adversity or is a non-traditional student. The scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board for the 2018–2019 academic year, or over consecutive years.
Since 2001, the Foundation has supported more than 600 booksellers, granting over $1.9 million in awards to help recipients reach their educational goals.
“When Borders was still open, I witnessed how the [Borders Group Foundation, now Binc] supported my employees with both scholarships and during times of financial difficulties,” said one scholarship winner, former Borders employee Jennifer Rojas. “I am incredibly grateful that the Binc Foundation has been able to continue supporting current and former booksellers throughout the industry.”
According to Binc Executive Director Pam French, helping booksellers achieve their dreams is one of the most rewarding parts of her job. “Booksellers are people who make the world a better place,” said French. “We hope that by providing them with the opportunity to learn and grow through higher education, we are helping them change the world even more.”
Scholarship America (Scholarship Management Services) conducted the third-party academic selection process to evaluate the scholarship applicants, considering financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities) as well as work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances. A list of this year’s scholarship recipients can be found here.
Bookstore employees can learn more about applying for the 2019 Higher Education Scholarship Program when information is released early next year.