Sisters GRO (Graduate Resource Organization), the local non-profit that manages dozens of scholarships for graduates of Sisters High School, has announced the addition of numerous new awards for the class of 2020 and beyond.

Behind the efforts of Susan Parker and other members of the GRO board of directors, an additional 11 awards will be available for this year’s senior class.

Board members worked together to identify business groups, organizations, and individuals, who looked like natural and viable supporters of new awards.

Individuals and families stepped forward to fund the following awards: Lieutenant Chris Salisbury USMC Memorial Scholarship; Rietmann Family Legacy Scholarship; and the Linda Douthit Memorial Scholarship.

A number of businesses and groups of professional practitioners also got involved including Sisters Athletic Club; Sisters Coffee Company; Sisters Veterinary Clinic; Hayden Homes (Art); Sisters Country Realtors; and Sisters Festival of Books (Paulina Springs Books).

In addition, a scholarship in the name of long-time GRO board chair and founder Karen Hensley was added this year as the Karen Hensley Service Scholarship and the local office of Premier Mortgage Resources (PMR) led by Kathy Kemper-Zanck, added an award called Three Simple Steps.

Tim Ross, the GRO board chair, said, “With the 11 new scholarships this year we have a great cross-section. They come from a diverse group of community members and are targeted towards students with differing post-high-school ambitions. This is one more example of what makes Sisters such a unique community. Many of our neighbors have a desire to pay it forward and Sisters GRO provides an easy method to do it.”

Ross wants the entire Sisters community to become aware of Sisters GRO, so he invites parents of school-aged children to check out the GRO website to become more familiar with the wide variety of awards available to Sisters graduates.

Additionally, prospective donors are encouraged to contact board members to learn more about sponsoring a scholarship. Contact information is available on the GRO website www.sistersgro.org, which can be accessed directly, but is also linked to the Sisters School District website at http://shs.ssd6.org/sistersgro.

According to school counselor Rick Kroytz, who helps run the ASPIRE mentorship program at Sisters High School, just under half of last years’ graduating class applied for at least one scholarship “and every single one of them received at least one award” for a total of well over $200,000 of local money distributed.