The 2018 Ryan Christopher Hersh Scholarship Committee awarded summer camp scholarships to 9 deserving applicants in early June. The committee received 25 applications this year, making the decision of how to distribute the available funds a tough one. The committee was responsible for creating, distributing, and marketing the scholarship applications and opportunity, then collecting and rating each application. They also worked to inform potential applicants of camp opportunities in El Dorado and Sacramento Counties.
Megan Smith, the Ryan Christopher Hersh Scholarship Committee Chair, explained this year’s successes with the Ryan Christopher Hersh Scholarship, “The Committee set a budget of $2,800 that we felt comfortable with removing from the account. With these funds, we were able to assist 9 youth in attending camps of their choosing. Their ages ranged from 6 to 17, with a variety of camps including a wrestling camp, horse camp, selective football camp, and various all-summer day camps for children in need.”
The Ryan Christopher Hersh Memorial Scholarship Fund is a fund that was initiated in 2015 by the grandparents of Ryan Christopher Hersh in memory of their grandson Ryan, who passed away at the age of 18. Ryan was an active participant in Hands4Hope for many years, assisting with food collection and distribution, homeless outreaches, and mentoring children at a local food and clothing distribution site. Ryan was a kind and gentle young man who served with love, respect, and an open heart. In honor of Ryan and his love of serving, his grandparents, Nancy and Darwin Myers and Sharon and Dick Tietgens created this scholarship fund so that others may explore things that they are passionate about, while also exploring needs in their community, giving them the opportunity to take action in their own way, as Ryan did through Hands4Hope. “It means a great deal to all of us that Ryan's legacy continues. He cared deeply for Hands4Hope and its mission in our community. He had such a profound impact on our lives, we are grateful to see that he can continue to positively impact the lives of others,” described the Hersh family.
“The committee was thrilled to see the multitude of interests the applicants had. It was enlightening to learn about the hardships many of them faced and inspiring to allow them to fulfill something important to them. The best part by far would be making the calls to the parents of the chosen recipients and hearing the happiness and gratitude in their voices,” Smith noted. “I am truly honored to have been able to serve on this committee for the past three years and to have had the opportunity to take the lead this year. I hope to continue in this role next year,” concluded Smith. The fund is designed to benefit youth in grades K-12 with financial hardships. A portion of the fund is specifically designated for scholarships for youth hoping to participate and serve in Hands4Hope’s outreach programs, by covering the cost of registration. In addition, funds are available for other summer camp scholarships that allow youth to be able to explore their own strengths; whether it be sports, art, music, leadership, or something else that they are passionate about, through local summer camps. Recipients of the scholarships are chosen through an application process by the Ryan Christopher Hersh Scholarship Committee.
“We truly hope that all the recipients cherish their camp experiences. Most importantly, we hope they have the opportunity to enrich their lives and grow from the experiences they all have,” the Hersh’s furthered. “The committee was very impacted to see the multitude of interests the applicants had and it was enlightening to not only learn about the hardships many of them faced but and enriching to allow them to fulfill something important to them. The best part by far would be making the calls to the parents of the chosen recipients and hearing the happiness and gratitude in their voices. I am truly honored to have been able to serve on this committee for the past three years and to have had the opportunity to take the lead this year and hope to continue this role next year,” concluded Smith.
Please visit our website for more information at hands4hopeyouth.org.