Benjamin Franklin once said that an investment in knowledge pays the best dividends, and more than two centuries later the Town of Windham continues to follow his advice.
Windham residents of all ages are now eligible to apply for a new $1,000 scholarship for those seeking to pursue a post-secondary educational opportunity.
The scholarship can be applied toward a four-year college or university, a two-year college or technical school, or a trade school. All applicants must submit a completed application to the town including a high school transcript and a one-page document indicating the student’s future educational and career objectives and why they feel they deserve this scholarship.
“This scholarship is available to any Windham resident looking to attend or further their careers in a two/four-year college or technical school,” said Marge Govoni, a member of the Windham Marijuana License Committee. “This scholarship is not limited like similar scholarships and age does not matter so it's a wonderful opportunity. I am thrilled that we are offering this scholarship."
In July 2021, members of the Windham Town Council committed to using licensing fees imposed by the town for retail and medical marijuana facilities for drug education and drug prevention programs. Councilors then approved a plan in August 2021 to award grants to applicants and create a scholarship for a deserving Windham student seeking to earn a degree in drug counseling or addiction treatment.
Since then, the council has opened the scholarship up to any deserving resident pursuing a postsecondary educational opportunity.
“I feel that when the town offers an opportunity to a community member then that person is in a better position to give back to their community,” Govoni said. “This is a very giving town, and I am more interested in how we as a community can help our residents."
Because marijuana licensing fees are collected throughout the year on a staggered basis, available funding for drug education grants and the scholarship will be on a continuing basis, Govoni said.
During a meeting in October, Windham Town Manager Barry Tibbetts told councilors that the Marijuana License Committee was created to come up with criteria and review where monies collected from cannabis companies in licensing fees can best be used to serve the community. Under provisions of Windham’s Marijuana Business Licensing Ordinance adopted by town councilors in May 2020, a marijuana business license applicant shall also pay an education fee in an amount set by the council and granted at the council’s discretion to educational institutions or nonprofit agencies for support of initiatives aimed at educating Windham youth regarding marijuana and other drugs.
As of March 8, the marijuana business license education fee account had a balance of $31,210 and the council continues to award grants and funding for programs such as the new scholarship for Windham residents based upon recommendations of the Marijuana License Committee as requested through applications.
The deadline for submitting applications for the new $1,000 scholarship to the town is April 30. Applications are available online at windhammaine.us or at the Windham Town Hall.
Completed applications may be mailed to Tammy Hodgman, Town of Windham, 8 School Road, Windham, ME 04062.
The new scholarship will be awarded by the town later this spring and may be used by a recipient starting as soon as this summer or by a student entering college this fall.
Further information about the new scholarship and specific requirements are available by calling Hodgman at 207-892-1907.
"I want to thank the Windham Town Manager and the Windham Town Council for supporting this endeavor and as a community we are always looking for ways to help our neighbors and to help people succeed." <