Slater Smith is one scholarship recipient. photo provided
Slater Smith is one scholarship recipient. photo provided
A year ago, a handful of community members recognized the need for an organization focused on obtaining and disbursing scholarships.

Sisters Graduate Resource Organization (Sisters GRO) has been awarded a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and will now begin accepting tax deductible scholarships on behalf of Sisters High School students.

"It's a big job," said Sisters High School principal, Bob Macauley. "We needed a separate organization to consolidate the work. We have a generous community and many deserving students. Through GRO we hope to reach even more students with scholarships."

Karen Hensley, the board's chair, added, "It is our hope that someday all deserving students will leave Sisters High School with more than a diploma - they will also leave with a scholarship that represents their community's belief in them."

Sisters GRO volunteers represent a wide variety of community leaders, professionals and educators. Board members include Bob Macauley, Dan Saraceno, Karen Hensley, Ann Thompson, Brenda Smith, Susanna Harrison, Laurie Adams and Karen Lord. Marcy Edwards, local attorney, advises the board on a pro bono basis.

GRO's mission statement asserts: "A vibrant community fosters the dreams, ambitions, and goals of its young people. We are dedicated to the growth of our community by championing post-high-school education through scholarships and graduate support programs. By investing in Sisters graduates, we invest in our community."

"I joined the board after volunteering at the school and meeting all these wonderful students," said Brenda Smith. "It's about the kids - the life they bring to our community in music, the arts, sports, everything. Scholarships are a way to thank them for being good community members and to show support for their futures."

Sisters GRO will be featured on Good Morning Central Oregon, COTV 11, on Friday, July 17, at 6:15 p.m. Hensley and Superintendent Elaine Drakulich will be answering questions about GRO. For information about scholarship donations and Sisters GRO contact Karen Hensley at 383-2517 or e-mail karenlhensley@aol.com.