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Fund drive keeps scholarship tradition alive

State's dance community steps up to support athletes after coronavirus-related changes to season threaten scholarship program


January 12, 2021 by Danielle Schneider, OSAAtoday

Since 2000, the Dance Drill Coaches Association of Oregon has awarded 439 scholarships totaling more than $338,000 in support to senior athletes to assist with the costs of post-secondary education and dance pursuits.

The scholarship program was developed by the DDCA to recognize exceptional graduating senior dance team members. Senior dancers who meet the eligibility requirements are able to apply for the Academic, Dance and/or Diversity Excellence scholarships.

Four former scholarship recipients.
Former DDCA scholarship recipients representing Parkrose, Sherwood, Barlow and North Eugene.

With the coronavirus making the DDCA’s traditional scholarship fundraisers impossible, the DDCA Board of Directors had to re-envision how to fund the scholarship program.

The DDCA launched its first ever fund drive to raise money for the scholarship program Dec. 1, or Giving Tuesday. Thanks to generous support from the dance community, the fund drive generated $3,432.

While many dance team traditions will still be on hold for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, the DDCA Board of Directors is pleased that it will still be able to award scholarships to the Class of 2021.

The Diversity Excellence scholarship will be awarded for the first time this year. This scholarship recognizes the academic achievements of graduating seniors and targets dancers who -- through sharing their varied cultural perspectives -- have enhanced and embraced diversity in their communities.

The recipients of this scholarship bring people together from different cultures and backgrounds to work on building unity through diversity.

In 2020, 16 scholarships at $1,000 each were awarded to graduating seniors.

Scholarship honorees have gone on to attend schools such as John Hopkins, Oregon State, Oregon, Florida and USC. Some of them have danced for the Portland Trail Blazers and the Portland Winterhawks.

To learn more about the DDCA Scholarship program, or to download the 2021 scholarship application, please visit our website at ddcaoregon.org.

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