The Simon Says: Live A Better Life Scholarship

Purpose:

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:

$2000.00

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:

Should you be selected for this award, please send verification of your enrollment at the college or university of your choice and a “Thank You” note directed to the donor to Omaha Public Schools Foundation. The award will be forwarded to the college of choice upon receipt.

Administered by:

The Omaha Public Schools Foundation
Toba Cohen Dunning
3861 Farnam St.
Omaha, NE 68131
402.502.3032

**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.

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 are not eligible to apply for federal financial aid  (DACA or any undocumented student)
  3. Money can be used for any College, University or Trade School of their choosing
  4. Students will complete an application. (TBA)

    Selection Requirements:

    • Senior in an Omaha Public High School (Benson, Bryan Sr., Burke, Central, North, Northwest, or South High School).
    • Not be eligible to apply for federal financial aid, such as FAFSA, Pell Grant, etc.
    • Require a minimum unweighted GPA of 2.5 and above.
    • Essay 1 – Send with this completed application a one-page (maximum 500 words) typed essay telling why you are applying for the scholarship and your educational and career goals by giving specific examples.
    • Essay 2 – Send with completed application a one page (maximum 500 words) typed essay regarding greatest challenge and how you overcame it by giving specific examples. Include as well how or if being undocumented has made it harder to reach your goals.
    • Include a high school transcript.
    • Have 2 individuals complete a Recommendation Letter for the scholarship. At least one of these individuals should be a current teacher or school official.

    Selection Committee Members:

    • Paco Fuentes-Goodwill Industries Community Outreach 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 SchoolSummary

    Selection Process:

    Should you be selected for this award, please send verification of your enrollment at the college or university of your choice and a “Thank You” note directed to the donor to Omaha Public Schools Foundation. The award will be forwarded to the college of choice upon receipt.

    Administered by:

    The Omaha Public Schools Foundation
    Toba Cohen Dunning
    3861 Farnam St.
    Omaha, NE 68131
    402.502.3032

    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.

     

    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:

    $1000

    Selection Process:

    An award letter will be presented to the recipient at the Omaha South High School Scholarship Awards Night by scholarship committee member(s).

    Should you be selected for this award, please send verification of your enrollment at the college or university of your choice and a “Thank You” note directed to the donor to Omaha Public Schools Foundation. The award will be forwarded to the college of choice upon receipt.

    Administered by:

    The Omaha Public Schools Foundation
    Toba Cohen Dunning
    3861 Farnam St.
    Omaha, NE 68131
    402.502.3032

    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 and a “Thank You” note directed to the donor.

    Amount: $2000.00

    (1) $1000 scholarship to Jackson student
    (1) $1000.00 scholarship to a Liberty student

    Administered by:

    Omaha Public Schools Foundation
    Toba Cohen-Dunning, Executive Director Omaha Schools Foundation
    3861 Farnam St.
    Omaha, NE 68131

    Tenaska Corporate Scholarships

    Tenaska has created a culture where its people are free to build the future of the energy industry on a decades-strong foundation of ethics, expertise and entrepreneurship. We understand that being a leader is about more than financial success – it’s about being a force for good in the communities where our people live and work. To express the company’s commitment to education, three new corporate scholarships are offered through the public high schools located near our corporate headquarters in Omaha, as well as our Dallas regional office.