15 Sep 2014
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Alyssa Blanchette Awarded First Sloper Staff Scholarship

Southington YMCA officials said the camp counselor was selected from a group of eligible applicants for the first-ever Sloper Alumni Association Staff College Scholarship.

Alyssa Blanchette Awarded First Sloper Staff Scholarship

The following was submitted by Linda Roy, outdoor center administrator for the .

YMCA Camp Sloper’s Alumni Association has created a scholarship fund which is awarded to one staff member from the current camp season that is enrolled in a full-time college program pursuing a career in a youth service related field.

The initial scholarship funds were raised at a spring fundraiser in conjunction with Murphy and Scarlatti's Charity Night for the . Additional funds have been donated through the Corey Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament.

"We are lucky to have such generous donors and alumni that recognize the value of having trained and educated staff" said Camp Director Mark Pooler.

This year’s scholarship committee has chosen Alyssa Blanchette to receive the first-ever college scholarship. Blanchette has worked at YMCA Camp Sloper for three summers and will be entering Eastern Connecticut State University this fall as a freshman majoring in Psychology. 

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Blanchette is working toward being a psychologist working with children who have been diagnosed with terminal or prolonged illnesses helping them and their families deal with their situation. She believes that the experiences she has had as a counselor working with children at camp will be a benefit as she pursues her education and career working with children.

The Sloper Alumni Association Staff College Scholarship is a unique opportunity for a current Sloper staff to apply for a $500 college scholarship. Blanchette received her scholarship check at the annual staff banquet that was held on Aug. 10 at .

The Alumni Association recognizes that the magic of camp comes from the amazing staff it employs each summer and has put this scholarship together as an investment in and recognition of the hard working staff members. The scholarship is awarded to a YMCA Camp Sloper staff member who has demonstrated the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility in their work with children over the course of the summer.

Awards are intended to assist recipients with covering costs of materials directly related to the field of study.

"We know that our staff are our most valuable resource at YMCA Camp Sloper. This scholarship program was developed as a way to invest in our staff and make sure they feel appreciated," Pooler said.

In addition to completing the scholarship application packet, staff must include a peer recommendation from one of their coworkers. The camp director also provides an evaluation of the staff’s job performance during their summer employment based on such items as: attendance, planning, creativity, energy, participation, following policies and procedures, teamwork, and positive values. 

A personal statement from the applicant in the form of an essay answer to two of four questions is also required.

"We hope to carry on this tradition of rewarding great staff members with scholarship funds for many years. On behalf of all the staff, I would like to extend a thank you to our Sloper Alumni Association and generous donors who continually support us year after year," Pooler said.

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