If you are a parent of a member of the 2014 high school graduating class and are interested in applying for a 2014 Dixie Youth Baseball, Inc. Scholarship, it's not to early to check with your child’s school guidance counselor or you can go on line to WWW.Dixie.org.
If your child was on the roster of a Dixie Youth baseball team for one season, when they were between the ages of 8-12, then they are eligible to apply for one of the 75 scholarships being offered by Dixie Youth Baseball Inc. in 2014.
The Board of Directors made the decision three years ago that they would offer no less than 70 scholarships each year. At this year’s board meeting during the 2013 Dixie Youth World Series the directors voted to offer additional scholarships for funds received in excess of the $140,000.00 dollars that it takes to fund the 70 scholarships. They were proud to announce that funds had been received that enabled the total to rise to the 75 that are being offered in 2014. This means that Dixie Youth Baseball Inc. will offer 75, $2,000 scholarships for a total of $150,000 in 2014.
The Scholarship program was established in 1961 to show a continued interest in former Dixie Youth players. Dixie Youth Baseball, Inc. is very proud that their scholarship program was the first offered by a youth baseball organization and to date have helped over 1,000 young men and women further their education.
A driving force behind this program was one of the founders of Dixie Youth Baseball, Tom Linton. Sadly, Linton passed away in 2010 but his vision of offering scholarships for former Dixie Youth players will continue to be carried on through the scholarship program and Dixie Youth Baseball. Linton would definitely be proud of the 75 scholarships being offered in 2014.
To my knowledge there is no other youth sports organization that offers this number of scholarships.
The only qualifications necessary to apply for one of these scholarships is that the applicant be a senior in high school and must have participated in the Dixie Youth Program as a player.
Playing ability is not a factor as this is not an athletic scholarship. The award is paid to the university, college or other institution of higher learning selected by the recipient.
A national committee composed of a member of the Board of Directors from each state reviews the applications and selects the recipients. Financial needs of the applicant’s family and the applicant’s academic record are carefully considered.
The funds for this program come from donations from businesses, individuals, leagues, districts and state organizations. With continued support and prudent management DYB expects to provide even more and better grants to future deserving graduates.
The State of Florida has had 75 recipients since the scholarship’s inception.
The recipients of these scholarships are chosen from the 11 states that are affiliated with Dixie Youth Baseball. Those states are Florida, Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. In the past seven years Gadsden County has received three of these scholarships, two at East Gadsden and one at West Gadsden high schools. Wouldn’t it be great if this year we could add a fourth or maybe a fifth name to a Dixie Youth Scholarship from a Gadsden County School?
It’s always an exciting time when one of the youth of our community is awarded this, or any other scholarship that might be available. It will at least give them an opportunity to succeed at the next level. As we all know, sometimes all it takes is getting one foot in the door and, the next thing you know, dreams can come true.
You might be thinking, if the application can be sent in before February 1, 2013 then why in the world are you telling us about it in the middle of September? The main reason is that in 2009 the State of Florida sent in 28 applications. Pretty good, you say. Well, in 2010 the State of Florida sent in 11and in 2011 the number of applications rose by four to a total of 15. In 2012 the number of applications were 18 and in 2013 the number of applications rose to 36.
That 36 wasn't a bad number. It was the highest Florida has had in five years, but, in a state as big as Florida, there are a lot more than 36 young men and women graduating from high school that played Dixie Youth Baseball. I know in the Havana, Quincy and Chattahoochee Dixie Youth programs they have plenty of former players that are now in their senior year of high school. These seniors need to fill out those applications. Even though sending in an application isn't a guarantee that a senior from our area will receive a scholarship, not sending one in for consideration gives them no chance at all of being considered.
Let's at least give the seniors in Gadsden County a shot at one by sending in an application by February 1, 2014. Maybe the Herald will have a chance to put your name in the paper in May 2014 when the recipients of the scholarships are announced.