December 16, 2016
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APTF Awards Record Number of Scholarships

Under the guidance of ­Jennifer Mitchell, chair of the American Public Transportation Foundation (APTF), the foundation topped the scholarship award record set in 2015 by awarding $130,000 to 27 scholars and transit professionals.

The 2016 scholarships included two named awards bestowed for the first time: one named for Immediate Past Chair ­Valarie J. McCall and one named for funder Bombardier. The foundation also awarded a one-time scholarship in the name of the late industry leader Clarence “Cal” Marsella, made possible by his family.

The average 2016 award was $5,000, a sum that helped ensure each award made a meaningful contribution to the recipients. Since its founding in 1988, APTF has awarded more than $950,000 to more than 280 recipients.

APTF also conducted several fundraising activities, including a special event at the Annual Meeting to honor new APTA Chair Doran J. Barnes that generated more than $40,500 and the annual Golf Tournament, which raised an additional $11,500.

APTF’s successful “Back to School” campaign strengthened the foundation’s visibility and highlighted its work to support scholars and transit professionals.

The foundation is also actively raising funds to reach the $50,000 threshold to establish a named scholarship for the late Jim Cowen, member of the APTA Hall of Fame. This effort was launched by Reba Malone, a former APTA chair who oversaw the development of the APTF.

Former APTA Chair Rick Simonetta is leading the final push to achieve full funding for the scholarship. As noted by Simonetta, “[Jim] was an inspiration and a visionary at a time when our industry was positioned to make great strides across many fronts.”

In 2016, APTF, its board of directors and donors worked to further its mission to increase and retain the number of individuals choosing public transit as a career. However, much remains to do; 2017 offers exciting opportunities to engage in the foundation and support the next generation of transit leaders.

For details and to donate, click here.
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