The Lathrop High School Alumni Scholarship fund raised more than $50,000 and is now officially endowed through the Alaska Community Foundation.

“Yay,” said Charles Bettisworth, one of the founders. “It will now exist in perpetuity.”

A grant from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company moved the fund into the endowment category, along with donations from many others over the past two years, since the fund was first created. Being endowed means that a small percentage of the fund can now be granted for scholarships every year.

This scholarship is unique because it is specifically for students who didn’t do so well in high school, but now show promise and improvement and want to continue their education either at a university or technical school.

The fund was started by seven graduates of Lathrop High School’s Class of 1961 at their 55th high school reunion, as a way to give back to their alma mater and graduating high school seniors.

Those alumni, now successful business people, wanted to help students who are smart, but underperforming, yet have gone on to apply themselves and now have the potential to be successful in the next phase of their lives.

In 2021, the scholarship offers $2,000 for Lathrop students who have attended the high school for three years and have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.25, and have also demonstrated significant academic improvement in the two years before graduation.

Applications are due March 31 and are available at the Alaska Community Foundation website at alaskacf.org.

“We encourage all students to apply,” Bettisworth said. “Our goal is to encourage students to apply who haven’t done well in high school, but show promise and improvement.”

Although organizers are happy to reach their endowment goal for the fund, they intend to continue helping the fund grow. So that means they will continue to solicit donations. The beneficiaries of that fundraising will be students who receive scholarships.

The fund is managed by Alaska Community Foundation, a statewide platform for philanthropy that connects people who care about causes that matter, according to the organizers. It manages more than 500 accounts including endowment funds and scholarship funds.

Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at kcapps@newsminer.com. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris