RV Alumni Association raises over $10k in scholarships for students

The outpouring of support from alumni founded one of the most substantial scholarships in the school’s history



Senior Madilyn Steffe

Shea Smith, Editor in Chief

On Wednesday, June 2, Rancocas Valley held its annual Senior Scholarship night during which 117 seniors and their families were invited to receive awards of varying amounts. Differing from years past, this years’ event was on RV’s turf to allow for social distancing. In only a few short hours, over $111,000 was awarded through 207 different local scholarships.

These scholarships come from everywhere; whether it be a local restaurant, organization or a family who has been impacted by RV and the surrounding community, and this night showed how much support this year’s senior class has and it only keeps going. In addition to the annual groups like the Nicky Green Foundation, the Rotary Club, and the Elks Lodge, there was a new player in the game.

With hopes of gathering enough funds for a scholarship this year, the Rancocas Valley Alumni Association (RVAA) asked all RV alumni for donations. “The Scholarship Fund Drive was a success beyond anything we even imagined,” said RVAA President Scott Mehl. “Hoping simply to get enough donations to fund this year’s awards, we were truly blown away by the response.”

In only two short weeks, they received over $10,000 in donations, far surpassing the original goal they had set of $2,000. Seniors applied to local scholarships in the spring in hopes of receiving some funding to further their future plans, whether it be academically based or vocational/technical. However, this scholarship in particular is to be awarded to one student from each path of education. 

The RVAA’s inaugural recipients were senior Mason Conger who will be studying at Universal Trade Institute and senior Madilyn Steffe who will be studying at The University of South Carolina. Each student received $1,000 based on their academic performance, extra-curricular involvement, and more related criteria. The Alumni Association believes “[Steffe] and [Conger] embody RVRHS’s values and have made an invaluable impact over the past four years,” and that they are “thrilled to honor them with these awards,” said Sandy Saouaf, the Scholarship Committee Chair for the RVAA. 

Conger and Steffe spoke of their gratitude for receiving this award and the lasting impact they hope to have on both the RVAA and their educational careers as a whole.

Senior Mason Conger (RVAA)

“I’m honored to be the first recipient of the annual RVAA Scholarship for Vocational and Technical Education,” Conger said. “Winning this award gave me some confidence that despite taking a less popular choice for education… I’ve always felt Vocational career paths are glossed over in high school and there is much more support for students entering into colleges and universities; so it’s wonderful to see the Alumni Association recognizing “Vo-Tech” careers and the students pursuing them. Going forward I hope more groups will recognize vocational career paths and more scholarships can be awarded to students going against the flow and into the world of trades. In the future, I hope I can return the favor offered by the RVAA and help seniors like myself get started in their future in vocational and technical education.” 

Stefee echoed similar sentiments of appreciation and is looking forward to her future at USC.

“There are no words to express my gratitude for the alumni in this association who thought I deserved this scholarship,” said Steffe. “I want to thank the RV alumni, my teachers and everyone these last four years who taught me so much both in my academics and personal life. Thank you for allowing me to move forward with my career goals and ambitions. By providing this [scholarship], you have brought me closer to the next chapter of my life. I promise to continue supporting RV in every way I can after graduation and [provide] whatever I can for the next generation of students to come.”

By providing this [scholarship], you have brought me closer to the next chapter of my life. I promise to continue supporting RV in every way I can after graduation and [provide] whatever I can for the next generation of students to come.

— Mason Conger

Many say that RV is a close-knit and supportive community, and this scholarship only confirms that. Years after graduation, alumni are still supporting the place they once called home and with that very support, will be able to open doors for students in generations to come who wouldn’t have had the same opportunities without this fund. This scholarship will be available for application for the class of 2022 next year, with hopes of supporting even more students from the RV community as they move onto the next chapter of their lives.