Magyar News, 1998. szeptember-1999. augusztus (9. évfolyam, 1-12. szám)

1998-09-01 / 1. szám

Eventually most people happen to get involved with education, students, and money matters that go along with them. As the years go by, these problems come more and more into the forefront. The new generations are facing a world where broader and higher education is required. The word is out that one diploma is not enough to obtain a higher position in a company. The parents of this generation are stretching their efforts to help the stu­dents. Every year it is a bigger task with the rising cost of tuition. We should also notice that the efforts are not limited to the parents. It is also a burden on the grand­parents. But, please do not stop here. I am extending the responsibility to the commu­nity of these students and of their families. One of the accepted ways to support students is the scholarship. There are many of these. There are books listing all the offers, and there are more that are not in the books. Some of the scholarships are a mere fifty dollars. Some cover the tuition for a full four years of college. Corporations, national organizations, edu­cational institutes, individuals and the community itself could show support on different levels. In the Hungarian commu­nity, mostly because of its size, the schol­arships offered are on a lower level. Also in areas like ours, there aren’t many sizable businesses, or rich individuals, whose community orientation for charity would be targeting the Hungarians. Most likely big monies spread into areas where the “pay-back” is more favorable, where it might generate more publicity, or help establish a source of trained people who would bring more prosperity to the compa­ny after finishing their studies.. When we are talking about Hungarian community giving out scholarships, we are actually referring to the local organiza­tions. These are the Pannónia American Hungarian Club (Pannónia), the American Hungarian Heritage Association (AHHA), the Hungarian Community Club of Wallingford. Also some Hungarian churches in a small way help out children with their tuition expenses. As we were informed by Attorney Markley on behalf of The Fairfield High School Scholarship Foundation, recently an endowment was given to the Fairfield High School by a family originally from Fairfield, now liv­ing in Arizona. The Pannónia Club sponsors the Hungarian Children’s Christmas and the March 15 Patriotic Day events and gives out 4-5 scholarships every year from the proceeds of the Cafe Budapest Dinner Dance held in spring. The criteria for receiving a scholarship is participation in the Hungarian community activities and naturally an acceptable academic accom­plishment. The financial need is also con­sidered. The applicant has to submit an essay also on their Hungarian experience. The AHHA using interest of savings and income from different events usually awards 2-5 scholarships. A permanent committee administers and decides on these awards. They use an elaborate point system where the maximum number of points is 27. In the academics one could get up to 8 points, for the two page essay 4 points, and the rest is made up of Hungarian background, knowledge, com­munity work within the Hungarian com­munity and also in other general communi­ty services. AHHA limits age to 30 years and residency to an approximate 50 mile radius. The Hungarian Community Club located in Wallingford also considers acad­emics, Hungarian background, and partici­pation in community work. The applicants in this case have to be members of the Club or be a child of a member. Among the Hungarian churches, the United Church of Christ has a small schol­arship endowed in the name of Reverend Bessemer. At the Hungarian School, con­ducted by the Calvin United Church of Christ, students with lesser means, or more than one child from a family, receive a reduced rate. This year an endowment of $55,000 was set up at the Fairfield High School by the Alex Nagy family, that requires Hungarian ancestry, good grade average, and participation in school and Hungarian community activities. Though, in total the amount of these combined efforts hardly covers a middle priced college tuition expense, still it is a sizable demonstration of the Hungarian community’s efforts to support their own. Different questions pop up from peo­ple who never got to measure up their point of existence in our society. The most fre­quent would be connected to the statement that “we are Americans. Why should we have any consideration for our Hungarian background?” This is a good question Let’s take it apart. Just with a few words. All those Hungarians who staggered here to the land of opportunity received the opportunity, and the support came from the Hungarian community in many small, big, and different ways. Should we make exemptions for those who came with immediately appreciated skills or profes­sions and only met the Hungarian commu­nity by accident on their way to success? These didn’t need the support of the Hungarian community. It sounds simple. Unfortunately as soon as one looks under the surface, one finds out that all the skill and knowledge came from the Hungarian people whom one left behind. What would an American-Hungarian be, had one not had Hungarian ancestors? First of all they wouldn’t exist. Now, who should this per­son say thanks for his existence if not his Hungarian ancestor? Just out of respect, isn’t there an obligation to maintain a com­munity spirit to set the grounds for present and future Hungarians, may I say American Hungarians, who might need the support? The willingness to support our schol­arship programs is a positive and admirable action of our community and the individuals who make up the community. The selection of applicants to be awarded is our investment into the hope of the future. We don’t want to be dumped into the colander of the “melting pot.” We don’t want to be Anglo-Saxons or some other kind of people. We don’t want to be identified only as white people. We want to shine with the achievements that our ancestors and we have accomplished. We want our children to follow in the footsteps of the many inventors, Nobel Prize recipi­ents, politicians, masters in the fields of arts, scientists, explorers and other that the Hungarian nation gave to the world. Think about it and support the Hungarian scholarship organizations. Page 1