In July 2007, four teachers met with the purpose of creating a college scholarship for Bremerton High School students in Bremerton, Washington. The Bremerton High School Pay It Forward Scholarship was formed and became a 501c3 non profit organization in December, 2007 to contribute to building a better Bremerton by improving the education, standard of living, and quality of life.
The Pay It Forward Scholarships help fill a niche by giving motivated, low income students with average grades the opportunity to help change their lives and their community. With the average household income in Bremerton less than $40,000 per year and the cost of an in-state college degree nearly $80,000, it is nearly impossible to enable the average Bremerton High School graduate access to higher education. As teachers, we believe that all motivated high school graduates should have the opportunity to attend college. We would like to see them build the tradition of going to college into their families, to make it a way of life.
An important part of the scholarship requirements is that the recipient agrees to Pay It Forward with good deeds/community service within three years of accepting the scholarship. By Paying It Forward the recipient will experience the importance of giving back and helping others. This will help foster a positive, supportive atmosphere in the Bremerton/Kitsap County community.