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Vasa Order of America • Pennsylvania District No. 9
Policy Regarding Scholarships & Documentation
Background / Purpose The Vasa Order of America began as an organization dedicated to assisting Swedish immigrants in dealing with life issues as they adjusted to life in America. As the wave of immigration subsided, the organization’s focus shifted from providing benefits to preserving and understanding Swedish culture at the time of the immigration and how it has changed to the present time. While the Order still provides limited financial benefits, fellowship among people with Swedish/Scandinavian heritage and interests grew in importance for the organization. District Lodge Pennsylvania No. 9 has had a scholarship program for youth since the early 1990’s and added those for adults a number of years ago. Some may view these scholarships as simply a member benefit, but they are much more than that. For youth the purpose is to introduce and strengthen the interest in Swedish cultural heritage in a way that will develop their connection to Swedish language and culture and hopefully provide future leaders for the organization. For adults the purpose is to assist members in exploring their cultural heritage in a way that will benefit the District and all its local lodges. For both youth and adults the scholarship should result in a report to the local or district lodge, preferably in the form of a program about what was learned / accomplished. The program presentation should be in a form that can be shared with other lodges.
Scholarships Available Two scholarships are available: A Youth scholarship and an Adult scholarship. The Youth scholarship is for a secondary school age youth, between the ages of 12 and 18. The youth may be a member, child or grandchild of a member. The adult who is sponsoring the youth or the adult recipient must have been a Vasa Member for at least 2 years.as of January 1 of the year of application. The youth scholarship will be for a one or two-week language camp at Sjölunden, the Swedish camp that is part of Concordia Language Villages program in Bemidji, MN.
You can here download to view a past youth recipient's experience via power point: Sjölunden Powerpoint 2018.pptx
For a colorful flyer about the Swedish camp, click here: Concordia Summer Camp flyer
The Adult scholarship is awarded to an adult member, age 21 or over and not in school, of a local lodge in DL Pennsylvania No. 9. It is offered every two years, in an even year with the next opportunity being in 2024. The adult scholarship should have significant educational content. It might, for example, be: • researching the motivations of why people of a certain area (including relatives) emigrated, • investigating the historic background and development of a region in Sweden, • developing skills in genealogical research (including using resources available at the VOA National Archives), • learning traditional music or dances, or other topic of interest. Specifically working at the VOA National Archives for two weeks on a project is encouraged. An important dimension in evaluating adult scholarship applications will be how the local lodge and district will benefit from the project/activity.
Application Process Youth and Adult Scholarships will be awarded based on applications submitted. See below for application and other documentation. Applications must be submitted via email to the District Lodge PA No. 9 Scholarship Chairman by February 28, 2023. Scholarship awards for each year will be announced by March 31. A 4-member district committee, chaired by the Scholarship Chairman, will judge / evaluate the applications and recommend the award. The District Executive Board will approve all awards before any are granted. There is no requirement that scholarships shall be awarded each year if satisfactory applications are not received. Scholarship funds will not be held over to the following year(s).
Scholarship Award Amounts For the Youth Scholarship, the District will pay Concordia Language Villages for the one or two-week camp fee directly (2023 CLV will be $1,345 for one week or $2,600 for two weeks). A travel allowance of up to $300 will be granted to the sponsoring parents or grandparents, based on receipt of bills for the travel. The deadline for submission of receipts for travel is October 1. If no receipts are received by the deadline no travel allowance will be awarded. The Adult Scholarship award will be up to $3,000 and the receipted amount will be paid based on the Scholarship Chairman for DL PA No. 9 receiving receipts for project expenditures. Expenditures for travel may include mileage for a personal automobile at $0.35 per mile if it is demonstrated that such an expense is necessary.
For the youth application, CLICK the link below: 2023 Youth Scholarship Application
Applications must be emailed to:
Marit Knollmueller, District Lodge PA No. 9 Scholarship Chairman
The adult application will be available December 2023.