The Graduate Resource Organization (GRO) voted unanimously to proceed with the local scholarship program for the class of 2020 at its monthly meeting held via Zoom on Thursday, April 9.

“Though we do not know exactly how we will deliver the news, seniors who applied for scholarships through GRO can rest assured we are moving forward with selection of recipients on the same timeline as if we were not dealing with the closure of schools,” said Tim Ross, GRO board chairman, after the meeting.

Though not able to meet in person, scholarship committee members are currently working through the selection process and hope to have the work complete by late May. The original Senior Celebration Night had been set for May 28 and it appears that announcements of recipients will still be made around that time, according to Ross.

“We are pleased that this is one thing certain to not be lost by the class of 2020,” said Rick Kroyts, ad hoc member of the GRO board and counselor at the high school, alluding to the fact that as of now the seniors will not be able to gather for a commencement ceremony or events like the prom this spring.

Chairman Ross cautioned that it is still possible that some donors may have to withdraw funds due to the economic downturn. “People are facing some hard times right now,” he said.

A committee is working on ideas on what to do in place of the traditional celebration.

“We will see what a group of creative, passionate committee members can come up with,” said Principal Joe Hosang.

Last year GRO awarded a total of over $200,000 in local scholarship money and the amount for 2020 is in the neighborhood of $240,000 thanks to the addition of a dozen new awards from local donors including businesses and individuals.

“Our commitment to supporting the graduates of Sisters High School is stronger than ever in the face of this national disaster,” said Ross.

According to Hosang, once details of how scholarship winners will be notified are ironed out, messages will be sent out to seniors and their families.

GRO also helps facilitate funds for educational enrichment for grades 5-12 through The Roundhouse Foundation. According to Ross, some funds are still available for spring and summer opportunities. Information about how to apply can be found on the GRO website at http://shs.ssd6.org/sistersgro/.