Soroptimist Scholarships for Students

Soroptimist International of Arcata has been offering scholarships to local students for 65 years!

Our signature service project is our scholarship program for graduating high school seniors who are continuing their education at a junior college, 4-year college or university, or vocational school.

Our scholarship program was established in 1956.  It was originally an annual scholarship of $50 for a female P.E. student attending Humboldt State College.  The program was administered by the Humboldt State Financial Aid Office who selected the student and disbursed the funds.

In 1977, the scholarship criteria and focus changed.  The amount designated for this scholarship became $300 and was awarded to a graduate of Arcata or McKinleyville High School who was attending Humboldt State.

The scholarship continued to grow until, in 1989, it totaled $1,000 and was awarded to an HSU junior or senior who graduated from Arcata or McKinleyville High schools.

In 1991 the scholarship program again underwent a transformation.  Our Soroptimist club chose to administer the program internally; the amount was increased to $1,500; and the recipient was to be a graduating senior from either Arcata or McKinleyville High schools and entering a junior college, 4- year college or university, or vocational school. 

In 1994, in honor of our charter president, the scholarship was named the Cynthia Schwenson Scholarship.

Since 1995, this program has been funded entirely by our annual scholarship tea.  The amount awarded has continually increased over the years.  Currently, Soroptimist International of Arcata selects two graduating seniors from the Northern Humboldt Union High School District which includes Arcata High School, McKinleyville High School and various charter schools within the district. These students plan to continue their education locally or elsewhere.   Our club also offers a scholarship to a local student other than a first-year freshman attending Humboldt State University.  To date, we have awarded in excess of $119,000. While high academics and citizenship qualities are factors, the main emphasis of this scholarship is financial need and a true desire for further education.

Our 2021 Winners:

Simone Haggerty
Hailee Henry
Dakota Anderson
Cecelia Eggleston

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