A scholarship program started 30 years ago by Siloam Springs-based Simmons Foods has surpassed the $1 million mark.
The M.H. “Bill” Simmons Scholarship recently awarded $134,000 in scholarships to 72 recipients for the 2019 program year. That pushed the scholarship’s combined financial education assistance to more than $1.1 million
The scholarship was established by Mark Simmons in 1979 in the name of his late father and founder of the Simmons organization. The scholarship program was created to honor the organization’s founder and to assist in the educational endeavors of the children of Simmons team members and growers.
During its existence, the program has provided grants to nearly 1,000 graduating seniors to pursue vocational and college degree programs. Each spring, applications are evaluated by the scholarship committee based upon academic merit, financial need and field of study to determine eligibility and potential awards to be granted. Applicants considering a degree in a field of study that aligns with Simmons needs may also find opportunities for internships, summer programs and even a future career with the company, according to a news release.
“Simmons team members are encouraged to be curious and take action, just as my father did in founding and growing our organization,” Board Chairman Mark Simmons said in a statement. “This scholarship program recognizes that high school students pursuing higher education are also demonstrating these values and laying a foundation for future success by being curious about new opportunities and taking action to pursue their education.”