Hoover Historical Society awards scholarships

Published 11:51 am Wednesday, May 12, 2021


The Hoover Historical Society administers a scholarship grant program each year with the help of sponsors from the community. This year HHS changed the focus from Alabama History to the history that our students are living – the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on their lives.

Students apply for a $1,000 grant from the Society with academic credentials, a record of extracurricular activities and a 1,000-word essay in response to prompts written by Dr. Marlene Rikard, a member of the HHS. For example, “While under shelter-at-home orders, your daily activities changed dramatically. Education, home life, part-time jobs, extracurricular activities, sports, etc. had to ‘retool.’  What positive things came out of this experience? What positive things do you think will continue when the pandemic ends?”

Spain Park’s Morgan E. Patrick wrote movingly about the positive impact on her family: “It was easy…to be distraught over the things I had lost…[but] I grew closer to my mom during the pandemic. This time was extremely valuable to me since I am about to leave for college.” Signature Homes sponsored this grant for a Spain Park High School senior. Patrick was admitted to the University of Alabama’s early college program and will continue her studies there.

Ria Shah of Hoover High looked at the advantages of digital education in her essay, noting that adaptation was a learned skill. She quoted writer Eckhart Tolle: “People are more likely to make behavior changes during times of upheaval; thus, quarantine is the perfect environment for personal growth.”  Carlo and Dianne Joseph, owners of V & W Supply Company, are the sponsors for Hoover High School. Shah is attending the University of Florida.

For the third year, a student enrolled at RC3 received a $1,000 worth of equipment with which to enter the work force immediately upon graduation. Natalie Coleman, career and technical specialist, along with the skilled trades lead instructor Rex Hare and an in-house committee, selected Luis Sanchez as the recipient of the Skilled Trades Scholarship.

Sanchez also wrote an essay about the effect of the pandemic on his training, saying, “It was hard to learn as much as I wanted…as we were only able attend the school twice per week.”  He added that enrollment in the skilled trades allowed him “to explore the different trades…with the help of RC3, I have been able to interview with various companies and have received an offer from one of them.”

Sanchez recommends the skilled trades academy to anyone not certain of what they want to do after high school.  The award was sponsored by Signature Homes, and President Jonathan Belcher and president of the Hoover Historical Society, Jim Langley, were on hand on signing day to present $1,000 worth of tools to help Sanchez get started on his career.