The Kim Rizzo Penway Scholarship

Through this Rizzo Family Foundation scholarship, the life of Kim Rizzo Penway is honored and celebrated. In Kim’s adult life, she was faced with many challenges and obstacles, which were all met with her incredible strength and will. She dedicated her life to raising a son with special needs – always advocating for his care and personal development. She carried this strength with her as she was diagnosed with ALS in 2018, which took her life in 2020. Through these and more challenges, Kim always showcased extraordinary kindness, determination, and a positive attitude.

The recipient of the Kim Rizzo Penway Scholarship will exemplify the qualities of Kim, who with great zest and energy, dedicated her life to the service of others. Like Kim, the recipient of this scholarship is always on the quest for ways to help improve a situation and make their environment a better place. Kindness, selflessness, hard-work, commitment, and loyalty are qualities that Kim carried with her into her final stage of life. Even in her darkest days, she cared for the wellbeing of others – and with great conviction. Similarly, the recipient of the Kim Rizzo Penway Scholarship will hold these values of goodwill, compassion, and steadfast strength – even through physical, educational, emotional and/or financial hardships of life.

The scholarship must be used by the recipient for study at an educational organization which normally maintains a regular faculty and curriculum and normally has a regularly enrolled body of pupils or students in attendance at the place where its educational activities are regularly carried on (a “qualified educational organization”). The scholarship must be used for (i) tuition and fees required for the enrollment or attendance at a qualified educational organization, and (ii) fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization.

The foundation will demonstrate through its scholarship-granting procedures that its scholarship grants are made on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis. The fact that recipients of a scholarship are selected on the basis of scholastic ability without regard to financial need does not preclude exemption.

The purpose of the foundation is to award scholarships to enable graduating seniors to pursue undergraduate education in the field of their choice at an accredited college of their choice. The foundation is focused on making grants to individuals who have overcome a particular and articulated hardship in their lives leading up to their impending graduation. Categories of hardship include economic and/or financial hardship, familial stability hardship, or illness, disease or disability hardship, including physical and/or mental disability. The foundation’s intent is that any scholarship or grant awarded will have a substantial impact on the recipient’s ability to take advantage of opportunities that would otherwise be beyond their reach financially.

To receive a scholarship, the successful applicant must be a graduating senior as well as demonstrate achievement and promise in their chosen field, as well as financial need and involvement in community or school activities. The successful applicant must also be able to articulate a hardship they have overcome to have successfully graduated high school.

To promote the scholarship, the foundation will distribute information, including the application, as well as post information on social media and use press releases.

To apply for the scholarship, students must submit a completed application by a specific due date with a clear description of any hardship they have experienced and worked to overcome in their lives, and how that has affected their pursuit of their post-high school goals.
All applications will then be reviewed by a selection committee consisting of the foundation’s officers and board of directors who have demonstrated empathy, compassion, and a desire to improve or enhance the lives of the applicants.

The selection committee will review the remaining applications, taking particular interest in those applicants who demonstrate financial need and a clear aptitude and desire in a particular field or interest. When selecting recipients, the selection committee tries to find the applicant(s) who would otherwise not be viewed favorably by traditional college scholarships. After the selection committee has identified two or more highly qualified applicants, the selection committee meets with them personally to gain a sense of who they are and how they intend to reach their goals to gain an understanding of whether they will give back to the community in their chosen fields. The selection committee also wishes to understand the hardships they have overcome to get as far as they have already. Subsequently, the foundation will narrow that field to two applicants to whom the foundation will award the scholarship funds.

In addition, the selection committee will consider academic effort over academic achievement in the traditional sense, as well as financial need.

The foundation will annually review and determine the number of scholarships and the dollar amount of scholarships by the amount of funding available, along with the number of eligible and qualified applicants.

The foundation will announce the recipients’ names in a press release and on social media channels, distribute the scholarship to the recipients by cashier’s check and honor each recipient at its annual signature fundraiser. The recipients must report back to the scholarship committee annually to update on their progress toward their goals and the use of funds as well as provide documentation.

The foundation represents that it will complete the following: (1) arrange to receive and review grantee reports annually and upon completion of the purpose for which the grant was awarded, (2) investigate diversion of funds from their intended purposes, (3) take all reasonable and appropriate steps to recover the diverted funds, ensure other grant funds held by the grantee are used for their intended purposes, and withhold further payments to grantees until the foundation obtain grantees’ assurances that future diversions will not occur and that grantees will take extraordinary precautions to prevent future diversions from occurring.

The foundation represents that it will maintain all records related to the following: (1) individual grants including information to evaluate grantees, (2) grantees which are identified as a disqualified person, (3) how the amount and purpose of each grant was established, and (4) how the foundation established supervision and investigation of the grants described above.