The Jonah and Joan Sherman Scholarship for Volunteer Outreach

Shermans

The Jonah and Joan Sherman Scholarship for Volunteer Outreach was founded in 2010 by Bruce Sherman and Amy Sherman to honor their parents and their legacy as caring neighbors and citizens of the world.  During their 55-year marriage, the Shermans embraced volunteerism and became synonymous with its highest purposes.  Time and again, they selflessly shared their time and talents locally and around the world so countless people could lead more functional, productive, and hopeful lives. 

The scholarship’s purpose is to promote effective volunteerism by recognizing and financially aiding Marist students who follow in the footsteps of Jonah and Joan Sherman.  We are grateful to the Sherman Family for creating this opportunity to reinforce such important values and to help Marist students achieve their educational goals. This focus is unique among the College’s scholarships, but valuing community and serving others are long-standing dimensions of Marist’s mission. 

Criteria for the Scholarship

The criteria for The Jonah and Joan Sherman Scholarship for Volunteer Initiative are as follows:

1. The Sherman Scholarship will be open to rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are participating in or leading volunteer activities.  Activities may or may not be campus-based or sponsored by a Marist organization.  They can be conducted locally, nationally, or internationally. Candidates should be in good academic standing.

2.  The scholarship will be awarded to the individual who gives evidence of:

  • Leadership qualities
  • Volunteer activity
  • Social conscience
  • Self-direction
  • Entrepreneurial spirit

3. This is a merit-based scholarship; while financial need is not a criterion, candidates may explain how the scholarship will be of particular benefit to them.

4. The scholarship may be renewed at least once. However, a past recipient must re-submit for competitive consideration.

5.  Applicants must complete a Marist College Scholarship application formThe required essay component should address the following questions:

(1) What is the nature of your volunteer activity or work?  Briefly explain the purpose of the activity in which you are involved and your role.

(2) Why are you doing this work?  

(3) What do you feel you have given to others?

(4) What have you taken away from this experience?

(5) How do you see this experience impacting your life after Marist? 

6. Two letters of recommendation are required for this scholarship. Each should speak to the applicant’s worthiness to be recognized for volunteer leadership and entrepreneurial initiative. One letter should come from a mentor or the leader of the organization with which you have been involved. The second letter should be from a Marist faculty member. Please use the attached Recommendation Form. E-mail or send it to the two people you are asking to give you a reference and ask them to send it back to the Office of Student Financial Services as indicated on the form.

7. The Sherman Scholar will be asked to speak at a forum, sponsored by an organization such as the Praxis Project for Public Citizenship or Student Government, which focuses campus attention on the need for and the impact of volunteer outreach on society.  Sponsorship and timing for the forum will be determined annually.

Jonah and Joan Sherman

This scholarship is especially meaningful to the Marist community because of a long and fruitful association with the Shermans.  Mr. Sherman served on the Marist College Board of Trustees for more than 25 years and was an officer.  Together Jonah and Joan led the establishment of Marist’s highly-successful Center for Lifetime Study, which annually provides intellectual opportunities, cultural exploration, and academic enrichment for more than 500 individuals 55 and older.   Marist’s archive in the James A. Cannavino Library is also home to The Jonah Sherman Collection, which documents the business and commercial history of Poughkeepsie.

Jonah and Joan Sherman were involved with many local non-profit organizations and volunteer initiatives in their home community of Poughkeepsie and Dutchess County, New York, beginning with the Catharine Street Community Center.   Over a period of 13 years, they volunteered in Central Europe, Asia, and Africa with the International Executive Services Corp, United Jewish World Service, and United Way International to advance economic self-sufficiency in small communities, education and prevention of HIV/AIDS and the development of volunteerism.  

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