Black Mountain Software Awards Higher Education Scholarship

graduation caps

Black Mountain Software is pleased to announce that Jaclyn Rauthe of Flathead High School in Kalispell, Montana, has been selected as the 2013 winner of the company’s $500 higher education scholarship.

First awarded in April of 2003, the Black Mountain Scholarship was originally given out at the MASBO (Montana Association of Business Officials) conference each year.  In fact, during the first couple of years of its establishment, members of the MASBO board were asked to be part of the final selection process for the submitted essays.

As the interest in the scholarship grew, it became evident we were asking too much of the already busy MASBO board members, so Black Mountain Software took over handling the entire process in-house.  Currently the scholarship is under the care of Donna Hislop, Black Mountain Software’s Business/HR Manager, who has been involved with the scholarship since its inception.  Using a system that removes the name from every essay (so that an applicant’s name never enters the process until a winning essay has been selected), Donna, with the assistance of several coworkers from BMS, reads the final essays to determine a winner.

The scholarship amount has remained at $500 since its creation in 2003, and the application process includes answering two questions in essay form.  Our first question: “How have personal computers (PCs) changed your life and the lives of people you know?  In your answer, include what improvements or problems you envision with the increased usage of the internet and the world wide web (WWW),” was used until 2011 when it was changed and updated to, “What role (if any) should technology play in the education of yourself, your siblings, or in the future, your own children?”  It is intriguing to see what viewpoints, opinions and feelings there are amongst the graduating senior applicants from across the State of Montana.  Some can get quite passionate!

Since its inception, Black Mountain Software has processed an average of 165 applicants, topping out at 198 in 2004.  The application process, which is open to all graduating high school seniors across the State of Montana, involves certain criteria which helps with the “weeding out” process (given the large number that apply). One constant criterion that seems to weed out the majority of candidates is the requirement that applicants for final consideration simply follow all directions.

This year’s tenth anniversary of the Black Mountain Software Higher Education Scholarship was given in April of 2013, and BMS plans to continue with this scholarship offering for years to come.  That’s because Black Mountain Software believes education is what drives our world and helps many young people to learn, explore, and develop tools that help them become better citizens.  If we can contribute to that experience by helping to defray even a very small fraction of the cost of that education, it is money well spent!

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