Right now, it can be hard to think much about the future. We are locked in on the now, and what current events mean for our family and loved ones. Right now, it can be hard to think that the future, with all the thoughts and worries of everyday life, is coming and that time does not stand still. There will be a spring, summer, and fall. Students of all ages will return to classrooms and campuses, and the financial burdens of college will be there as well.
But for students whose lives have been impacted by ALS, there is the Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund, which was established in 2019 to support the post-high school education for such students. The ALS Association is now accepting applications for year two of the fund. Applications for this year’s scholarship awards, which will be distributed for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, are being accepted through May 18, 2020.
In its inaugural year, the fund awarded $225,000 in scholarships to 45 students nationwide whose personal or family finances were compromised by the financial burden of ALS. The fund awarded scholarships to two students from the region our chapter serves—one from Missouri and one from Illinois.
“The financial burden of ALS is devastating on families, and kids are all too often collateral damage. The disease forces many kids to delay their education so they can pitch in as caregivers, while others lose the financial ability to attend school altogether. I’m very pleased the fund was able to help some of these students get back on the education path that was disrupted by ALS,” said Mark Calmes, vice chair of The ALS Association’s National Board of Trustees as well as a board member of the ALS Association St. Louis Regional Chapter.
Calmes started the scholarship fund in honor of his late wife, Jane, who fought ALS for eight years and passed away in August 2017. The fund provides financial assistance to students pursuing an accredited college degree or vocational certificate.
“Jane was a quiet, gentle, yet tenacious warrior, and I promised her I would continue the fight as long as I could. She also put such a high value on education, so this scholarship fund seemed like a great way to honor her,” Calmes said.
The scholarship is not limited to traditional two- or four-year college degrees, but is also intended to cover vocational education.
“It’s important that all kids, no matter what profession they want to go into, have the ability to seek out these awards to help them pursue their life dreams,” Calmes said.
A reminder: applications for this year’s scholarship awards, which will be distributed for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters, are being accepted through May 18, 2020.
To apply for The Jane Calmes ALS Scholarship Fund awards, donate to the scholarship fund, or get additional information, please visit http://www.alsa.org/CalmesScholarshipFund.