RCLA Town Hall Scholarship Program

Now in its fifth year, the RCLA Town Hall Scholarship Program has provided 58 scholarships to deserving area high school students, as well as afforded nearly 450 students the opportunity to attend the lecture series, providing them a valuable life experience.

The Ringling College Library Association Town Hall Lecture Series, in partnership with the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and the Lou and Rosemary Oberndorf Town Hall Scholarship Fund, awards $30,000 in college scholarships each year to deserving high school seniors from all Sarasota public and charter schools, including select private and Manatee County public schools. 

Two deserving seniors with remarkable academic and community service accomplishments are selected from each high school by their principals to enjoy the privilege of attending a Town Hall lecture and meeting the speaker as “RCLA Scholars.” Students are then invited to submit a 750-900 word essay sharing the impact each speaker’s words had on them and how it relates to their own life experiences. Up to 15 submissions, supported by an outstanding academic record, will be awarded a $2000 college scholarship.

Special Note:  Only students who have attended an RCLA Town Hall Lecture are eligible to apply for this scholarship.

2017 - 2018 RCLA Town Hall Scholarship

Create A New Application Here

Return to Your Application Here

[2017 - 2018 RCLA Town Hall Scholarship - Jan. 15, 2017 - Mar. 1, 2017]

Please contact Earl Young, Manager of Scholarships and Special Initiatives, at (941) 556-7150 or scholarships@cfsarasota.org, for any questions not answered within our website.

Essay Questions:

Vice President Dick Cheney

  1. One of the harshest criticisms endured by Vice President Cheney and the Bush Administration regarded their decision to go to war in Iraq. Some proponents of the war felt that the human rights violations suffered by Iraqis at the hands of Saddam Hussein and the threat of weapons of mass destruction justified the costs - human and financial - of going to war and unseating the dictator. Do you agree? Do you feel the role of the U.S. government is to serve as the protector of human rights and moral compass for the rest of the world, or do you feel war is an act that should only be pursued when U.S. citizens are in imminent danger? Discuss. 

  2. This last presidential election has gone down as one of the most interesting and controversial elections in modern U.S. history. President Trump's contentious remarks and behavior during his campaign led to many of his own party's leaders pulling their support and endorsement from the candidate. Vice President Cheney commented that he fully supported Trump's ticket and believes that members of a party should always back their candidate. Do you agree or disagree with his view? Discuss. 

  3. Vice President Cheney criticized the Obama administration on its weakness with Russian relations. He suggested that the United States needs to go back and reinvest our ties with NATO and force a stronger hand on Putin. Do you agree? Where do you see the future course of the U.S.-Russian relationships? What steps do you think the current administration should be taking moving forward? Discuss.

Geena Davis

  1. Women and girls make up 51% of the population of the United States, but female characters’ presence is severely underrepresented in the media and often times they are overwhelmingly “sidelined, hypersexualized or simply not there,” according to Geena Davis. Her Institute has been beginning to make headway into changing the landscape of media and programming to reflect a more accurate, gender balanced, diverse portrayal of society. However, many critics have stated that they believe the issues she is trying to change have already been addressed and fixed in the field. Do you agree or disagree? Explain your answer.
  2. Another common criticism of those calling for gender- and race-balanced shows is that they ignore the harsh reality of Hollywood studios: that they are businesses, not activists. And, like most businesses, they follow proven ways to earn income. What steps do you believe the media, as well as our society, can take in order to ensure that women are fairly and accurately represented in the entertainment industry?  Explain your answer.
  3. Geena Davis’ passion for activism and her work in spreading the importance of equality sprouted from her own experiences in a very male-dominated industry where she felt she had missed out on opportunities because of her gender. Have you ever personally felt like you have missed out on an important opportunity or have been discriminated against on the basis of your gender, race, or age? In what ways did you try to overcome the situation and did it have an impact on the way in which you viewed the world? Explain your answer. 



Community Foundation of Sarasota County

2635 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota FL 34237
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