The Simon Says: Live A Better Life Scholarship

The Simon Says: Live A Better Life Scholarship is looking for a student that, despite the struggles of their circumstances, has strived to help others either through volunteer work or by the way they have chosen to make a difference in their community or family and at the same time continued to make school a priority.

Simon Jones graduated from Omaha North Nigh School in the top 2% of his class in 2017. He was an exceptional student who attended AP and Dual Enrollment classes as well as following the Bio-Medical and Engineering Pathways offered at Omaha North. He received the Buffet Scholarship and had been accepted into the Engineering Program at the University of Nebraska Omaha. While at North he also participated in Cross Country, Track and Field, Bike Club and in the Science Club. Outside of school he was president of the Teen Advisory Council at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, a member of the Florence Christian Youth group and Team Captain for Relay for Life. He also created and began the Simon Says: “Happy Birthday” Toy Drive to benefit the Living Hope Food Pantry. He accomplished these things even though he had cancer.

Simon was diagnosed in January 2013 at the age of 13 with DSRCT, a rare and aggressive soft tissue sarcoma. He underwent numerous chemotherapies, radiation treatments and multiple surgeries while he attended and finished his high school career. In September 2016 he began writing an inspirational Facebook Blog call Simon Says: Live a Better Life. From September of that year until his death he encouraged other with a simple message; “Our struggles do not define who we are, but WE define how we share our struggles with the world”. His wish was for the world to know that we all have something that holds us back from living a better life. It could be an illness like Simons, it could an unfortunate event that caused a detour in our plans or even the circumstances you were born into. Like Simon, we all can choose to be the light and hope in someone else’s path and to Live a Better Life.

This was his mission and now it is ours. We have the privilege of telling the whole world Simon’s story. How cancer died from Simon, not Simon died from cancer, how he held his head high through pain and fear. How he chose to be the light and hope, and to lift everyone else despite his own struggle. Simon’s life has purpose and his struggle was not in vain. How through it all he never stopped believing that God had a greater plan for his journey.

Amount: One $2000 scholarship payable to the educational institution of recipient’s choice. Verification of enrollment should be sent to the Omaha Public Schools Foundation for payment directly to the institution.

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation
3861 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68131

Criteria:

  1.  Any OPS high school graduating senior
  2. GPA 3.0 or higher
  3. Essay response to all the following three points:
    • a hardship or struggle that you have overcome or are currently facing.
    • what it means to you to “Live a Better Life” in spite of your circumstance.
    • how through secondary education you plan to make a difference in the life of others.
  1. Two recommendation letters (non-relative) testifying to the personal hardship of the applicant, the character of the applicant, and the achievements in the effort of “Living a Better Life”.

Selection Procedure: Final recipient will be chosen by the Scholarship Committee of the Simon Says: “Live a Better Life” Foundation. Send required information to:

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation
3861 Cuming St.
Omaha, NE 68131

You can donate to the Scholarship on our secure Donation Portal. Use the drop down menu on the form to designate the Simon Says Live a Better Life Scholarship.

Donate to the Scholarship

Si Se Puede Omaha Public Schools Scholarship

Purpose

 At least 1-$2000 dollar scholarship will be awarded.

Selection Criteria

  1. GPA 2.5 or higher (unweighted)
  2. OPS High School Seniors who do not qualify for other financial aid. (DACA or any other undocumented student)
  3. Money can be used for any College, University or Trade School of their choosing
  4. Students will complete an application. (TBA)

Committee Members

  • Paco Fuentes-South Omaha Boys and Girls Club Director
  • Evelia Gutierrez- Youth Academic Navigator for the D2 Center
  • Susana Lara-Curriculum Specialist at South High School
  • Charo Rangel- Retired Assistant Principal-Omaha Public Schools
  • Giovanna Zermeño-School Counselor at Norris Middle School

Deadline

March 17, 2022

Adminstered by

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation

Donations

To donate to this scholarship you can send a check to the following address or use the online payment link below.

Omaha Public Schools Foundation
Si Se Puede Scholarship Fund
3861 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68131

Or use the convenient link below to donate online.

 

The Skinner Elementary School PTO Scholarship

Purpose:

To assist students who wish to pursue post-secondary education.

Eligible Recipients:

All OPS High Schools

Selection Process:

  1. Student must have completed a minimum of three years at Skinner Elementary.
  2. Recipient shall be academically able to succeed in college.
  3. Student must be pursuing further education at an accredited 2 or 4 year college or university.
  4. Student must submit a short essay (maximum 3 paragraphs) stating their future plans both professionally and personally.   The title of the essay is: “How I plan to use my college education.”

Amount:

$500.00 payable to the college or university upon the Foundation’s receipt of verification of enrollment from the institution chosen by the recipient.

Final selection:

High school should select one eligible student application to the Omaha Public Schools Foundation.  The final recipient will be chosen by a selection committee established by the Principal of Skinner Elementary School made up of school staff and leadership.

Administered by:

Omaha Schools Foundation

Soaring Eagles Pathway Scholarship

This scholarship will benefit a graduating OPS senior who spent their K-12 education attending Spring Lake Magnet, Marrs Magnet and Omaha South High School.

Purpose:

To provide a scholarship for a graduating Senior who has attended Spring Lake, Marrs, and South and is bi-literate in both English and Spanish

Requirements:

  1. Must have an unweighted GPA of 2.5-3.25- through Senior Year (first semester)
  2. Must have spent fours years at South High School and a minimum of 6 years between Spring Lake Magnet and Marrs Magnet
  3. Must provide two letters of recommendation-one from a staff member of a Pathway School (Spring Lake, Marrs or South) & 1 letter from a non-relative who can speak to the student’s character and community involvement.
  4. Must provide a current official transcript.
  5. Student must be bi-literate in English/Spanish.
  6. Must provide a 500 word essay in English-“How will you use your passion to serve others?”
  7. Must provide a 500 word essay in Spanish-“How will your bi-literate skills benefit your passion to make the world a better place?”

Amount/Selection:

A $1000 scholarship will be provided to a student chosen by the Soaring Eagles Committee.

Distribution:

An award letter will be presented to the recipient at the Omaha South High School Scholarship Awards Night by scholarship committee member(s). Verification of enrollment directly from the College/University should be sent to:

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation Scholarship Office
3861 Farnam Street
Omaha, NE 68131

Stewards of the Future Scholarship

Purpose:                     

To provide financial assistance to a student seeking post-secondary education in the fields of engineering or education. The Rozmus family believes in advocating for continued education and are strong supporters of Omaha South High School. Supporting the growth of future engineers and educators will foster a culture of young people who will have the skills to solve complex problems and develop a love for learning.

Eligible Schools:                     

Omaha South High School

SelectionCriteria:                     

  1. 50% based on scholastic ability
  2. 50% based on need
  3. Preference will be given to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in engineering or education at an accredited post-secondary institution in Nebraska.
  4. Student shall be heavily involved in the community or extracurricular activities.

 Amount:                     

Renewable $2,000 scholarship

The scholarship is payable to the institution chosen by the recipient upon verification of enrollment sent to the offices of the Omaha Schools Foundation. The scholarship is renewable for three years based on a grade point average of 2.8. Current transcripts must be sent to the Omaha Schools Foundation for subsequent payments each year.

Selection Process:                      

The principal and scholarship committee of each high school will recommend the top two students. Recommendations will be sent to the Omaha Public Schools Foundation, which will forward them to the Rozmus family for a final selection.

Susie Landow Memorial Scholarship

Susie Landow was a dedicated and beloved teacher in the Omaha Public Schools. This scholarship has been created by family and friends to honor her memory and provide financial assistance to a student seeking post-secondary education who had formerly attended Liberty or Jackson Elementary Schools.

Eligible Recipients:

A graduating senior from an Omaha Public High School who formerly attended Liberty or Jackson Elementary for a minimum of four years.

Selection Criteria:

  1. Student must demonstrate a financial need and submit a Scholarship financial statement.
  2. Student must submit a short essay stating their personal and professional goals, including their reason for continuing into post-secondary education.
  3. Student must submit a letter of recommendation from a teacher or an administrator.
  4. Student will submit a current transcript.
  5. Student will state which years he/she attended Liberty or Jackson Elementary Schools.

Selection Process:

Selection will be made by the principal of Jackson and/or Liberty Elementary and the School’s Scholarship Selection Committee. Amount will be payable to the post-secondary institution registrar upon the Omaha Schools Foundation’s receipt of verification of enrollment from the institution chosen by the recipient. All information should be returned to OSF no later than March 24th.
Amount: $1000.00

Administered by:

Omaha Schools Foundation

Please return student’s required information to:
Toba Cohen-Dunning, Executive Director Omaha Schools Foundation
3861 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68131