DutchCrafters.com has been an online leader in Amish furniture for nearly a decade, but in 2003 when the company launched, many people had a difficult time imagining the words “Amish” and “Online” as compatible. Not only were they compatible, but by offering a high level of customer service that matched the quality of the products, CEO James Miller was able to differentiate his brand and DutchCrafters quickly gained recognition as a Gulf Coast 500 company. Miller proudly acknowledges that his Mennonite heritage along with a strong academic foundation served as the context for his advancement, improvement, and innovation.
Now, nearly a decade after Miller started his online Amish furniture store, he’s announced the foundation of the DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship to recognize undergraduate students who, as he does, identify with and employ their cultural heritage in the advancement and improvement of themselves. The aim is to help students combine the background of their cultural heritage with the promise and potential of a strong academic foundation to better themselves, and the world.
The $500 private scholarship will be awarded to five students during the 2012-13 academic year, and will be dispersed in two increments of $250. It is designed to recognize students who draw upon their cultural heritage to specifically shape their vocational aspirations, add creative value to their future employers, and serve their community. Applicants must submit a 750 word essay explaining how they intend to apply their cultural heritage towards the execution of these goals.
Miller designed the DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship to recognize any and all eligible students, regardless of intended major, background, or faith. Whether you’re in nursing, education, business, or engineering, the scholarship is simply intended to recognize those students who find creative value in the lessons and the wisdom that has been passed to us from previous generations.
With rising tuition and textbook costs, current high school seniors would be smart to keep their eyes out for private scholarships such as these. In 2011 the average estimated undergraduate budget for full time students rose 5.4 percent to $21,477 at public universities! Private Colleges rose 4 percent to $42,224, and Community Colleges are up 8.7 percent! And there’s no immediate relief in sight. Experts predict more rises in tuition, books, and room and board. Private scholarships like Miller’s offer students valuable opportunities to keep debt down and focus on what really matters: their educational foundation.
In additional, the DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship maintains a late application deadline to offer all students, even those late-acting students, a fighting chance. Miller expresses great excitement with the prospect of aiding students in their educational endeavors and says he is both grateful for, and humbled by the opportunity to give back to the community.
Eligible students must be current high school seniors or graduates, or be current undergraduate students, and maintain a 3.0 GPA or better. Participation in community service and leadership of school activities is encouraged.
Hopeful applicants can visit DutchCrafters.com for additional information or visit the DutchCrafters Amish Furniture Heritage Scholarship page directly. Applications close on July 31st for the 2012-13 academic year. Announcement of scholarship recipients will take place on the DutchCrafters Facebook page on August 10th, 2012.
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