The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund
PO Box 6303, Lancaster, Pennsylvania 17607
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, in our first year in 1982, awarded one $500 scholarship. Since then, through 40 years, we have been able to award scholarships to over 400 students for a total of over one million dollars. In 2021, we awarded $206,000 to 33 students for a record year.
We take our name from the School District of Lancaster’s Martin Luther King Elementary School. Teachers there began this program when they decided to contribute toward a scholarship for a graduating senior at McCaskey who planned to go on to post-secondary education and who had attended King Elementary. Today any graduating senior at the McCaskey campus is eligible to apply for a scholarship. Successful applicants must demonstrate academic excellence, service to school and community, and financial need. Since the transition to higher education can be difficult, our scholarship aid is generally for the students’ first year to give them a supportive start.
For several years, we have been able to award a 4-year, $20,000 scholarship in loving memory of our late board member, Nelson Polite, Sr. who faithfully served this board and his community in so many ways. Nelson’s life was devoted to expanding opportunities for all citizens of Lancaster. We can think of no better way to honor the memory of our beloved friend than to present a four-year scholarship in his name. In addition, the Botstiber Foundation has partnered with us to offer a 4-year $25,000 scholarship to an outstanding student in the sciences or engineering.
The students who receive scholarship assistance have great motivation to succeed, and their lives all reflect the values for which Dr. King stood. Our recipients have gone through a rigorous and thorough application process, including a personal interview. They truly represent the best of the best. Many of our former recipients have gone on to receive medical degrees, law degrees, PhDs, and other advanced degrees. Today, they are doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, nurses, business people, and in many other professions.
The Mayor of the City of Lancaster is the Honorary Chair of the organization. We are pleased and proud that former Mayors Arthur Morris, Janice Stork, and Charles Smithgall, J. Richard Gray and current Mayor Danene Sorace have all supported these scholarships. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church has been an important partner from the very beginning. We also receive excellent cooperation from the School District of Lancaster, especially the guidance counseling staff at J.P. McCaskey High School.
Most recently the Fund has grown in its ability to serve more students because of the generosity of the law firm of Hagelgans & Veronis. The two partners, Nicholas A. Veronis and James D. Hagelgans, are proud graduates of J.P. McCaskey High School. Because they recognize that higher education has helped them achieve their goals, they have chosen the Fund as a way to give back to their community. They have generously contributed over $200,000 dollars for scholarships in the past five years to this Fund to help empower and educate our deserving scholarship recipients to give them the knowledge to be the leaders of tomorrow.
The law firm also sponsors this website, and Nicholas Veronis is on the Board. We appreciate this support in so many different ways which helps our Fund to further its vision of “Empowering Students to Fulfill His Dream.”