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Blandin Foundation awards 334 Itasca area students scholarships

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. (August 8, 2013) – Post-secondary students from throughout the Itasca County area will go back to school this fall with support from Blandin Foundation.  At their recent meeting, Blandin Foundation’s scholarship review committee (a panel of community members) recommended $953,700 in Education Awards to 334 local students for the 2013-14 school year.

 “Education beyond high school was one of the great passions of Charles Blandin,” said Sonja Merrild, director of grants for the Foundation.  “He recognized that support for education is at the heart of any resilient, vibrant community.  We are proud to continue his work today through our need-based scholarships, the Blandin Foundation Education Awards.”

Charles Blandin was owner of the Blandin Paper Mill and founded the Blandin Foundation, which are now completely separate organizations.  Since the Foundation’s first scholarship in 1956, more than $19 million has been provided to 14,594 students under age 25 who graduate from high schools in Itasca County, plus Hill City, Blackduck, Northome, Remer, Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School, or who are home-schooled in those communities.

Education awards are available based on need, so that every local student has an opportunity to pursue education beyond high school at an accredited college, university, technical college, community college or training/certification program in the United States.   The program is focused on helping to fill unmet need, geared to students for whom education after high school is otherwise out of reach.  Fifty-seven percent of the awards for 2013-14 supported students with household incomes of less than $50,000.

Blandin Foundation scholarships also are available directly through Itasca Community College and through Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency (for adults age 25 and over).

“Our trustees and staff recognize the possibilities that come with education, and celebrate that local students are making ambitious, hopeful choices for their futures,” said Kathy Annette, Blandin Foundation CEO.  “Communities are stronger with every success of every child, and we are honored to stand with students, families and communities in embracing our youth, from cradle to career.”

Applications for 2014-15 awards will be available through the Foundation website and office as of Jan. 1, 2014 and are due May 1, 2014.  Details are at


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