Through their annual college scholarship program, the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Foundation awarded $276,000 over the next four years to twenty North Texas high school students.

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Selections for scholarships were made based on grades, community service, financial circumstance, an interview and personal written letter. Applicants were also required to maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

“Scholarships don’t just open doors, they create pathways and opportunities for personal growth. An investment in our students is an investment in the future,” said Kathryn Allen, President of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas Foundation.

In previous years, eligibility was exclusive to high school students that had YMCA memberships. Recently, the program has expanded to allow all students to apply.

“No one should be turned away because of financial constraints,” said Curt Hazelbaker, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. “Our high schoolers deserve to have equal opportunities for higher education, it’s only then that we can develop a stronger and more resilient workforce and community.”

Joshua Elder, member of the Lake Highlands Family YMCA, received a $12,000 scholarship to the University of Texas at Dallas through the Dye Family Foundation. He plans to study fire science and pursue a career as a firefighter and EMT.