$10,000 McKeown scholarship applications now available

James McKeown
James McKeown

Cummings Foundation has announced the 18th Annual McKeown Scholars Program in honor of James L. McKeown, late president of Cummings Properties. The $10,000 scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding high school senior from Winchester this spring.


According to Dennis Clarke, president and CEO of Cummings Properties, “In the past 17 years, the McKeown Scholars Program has awarded $240,000 in scholarships to exceptional Winchester graduates alone, and more than $2 million combined in all participating communities.” He added, “The awards were originally funded by a $1 million grant from Cummings Properties, as well as through generous gifts in Jamie’s memory.”


A Winchester resident at the time of his death in 1996 at the age of 41, Jamie McKeown was actively involved in the local community.


To be considered for the McKeown Scholar title and accompanying $10,000 scholarship, a candidate must be a legal resident of Winchester, and a high school senior in the upper 20 percent of his/her class, based on the most recently published class rank. Although open to students of other schools, the program is administered through Winchester High School.  It will be the responsibility of all applicants to meet the deadlines and requirements established by Winchester High.


Selection criteria for the award include community service, scholarship, and communication skills, as well as a reputation for fairness and integrity. “These are all qualities Jamie McKeown possessed in high degree, and that we feel he would have considered key in determining eligible award recipients,” Clarke said.


Details about and applications for the 2014 McKeown Scholars Program are available through Winchester High School and at www.CummingsFoundation.org. Completed applications must be returned to Winchester High School no later than Friday, February 14 for verification of eligibility by that school’s administrators.


All qualified applicants will be invited to Winchester High School during school hours on Wednesday, March 5 to complete a 500-word essay on a topic of current interest to be announced that day. Winchester High English Department instructors will evaluate the essays, with students’ names removed, to identify finalists. A high school selection committee will then conduct personal interviews to determine the winner. No representatives of any Cummings entity are involved in the selection process.


Clarke noted that additional funding may be available for McKeown Scholars who work at or whose parents work at Cummings Properties or its affiliated New Horizons retirement community in Woburn.


“If the employment status and number of hours worked meet the criteria, the scholarships given to these students will be matched by their respective employer,” said Clarke, “resulting in a total award of $20,000.”


Previous Winchester McKeown Scholars include Chelsea Fujimoto in 2011, Caroline Pierce in 2012, and last year’s winner, Irena Brates.


For a list of McKeown Scholars award winners, as well as previous essay topics, visit www.CummingsFoundation.org.


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