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As our history buffs know, the Midwest Federation was initially formed in 1936. As a social, charitable and educational organization, our founders very much wanted to preserve our shared heritage and culture here in America. At the same time, they wanted to encourage our young people to continue their studies at the college level. Thus, the Midwest Federation Scholarship Program was launched in 1940.
Since that time, Federation Scholarship Awards have been presented to hundreds of our cousins (including me). Our founders envisioned that this would be a worthy investment in our youth. They had hoped that in addition to furthering their education, these recipients might also return to the Federation and foster growth in our organization.
Their vision was correct. Many past recipients have become leaders in their communities, local clubs and churches. Several have taken leadership roles in our Federation, serving on various committees and as Federation officers—including four who have returned to serve as the Midwest Federation President. Equally important is that the newest generation now attending our conventions frequently includes the children of past scholarship recipients.
Yes, the start-up of the Midwest Federation Scholarship Program was indeed an investment in our youth and in the Federation itself. I am happy to report that this has been one investment that never stopped paying dividends.