Over thirteen years ago RCWS launched a scholarship program for disadvantaged children in Russia. During this time, the number of participants has grown from 3 in the 2003-2004 academic year to 86 in 2015-2016. Currently, RCWS is supporting 90 students in the Pskov, Yaroslavl and Moscow regions. To date, the scholarship program has been enormously successful in providing a support structure for students as they transition from living in an orphanage to attending a university on their own. For an annual cost of approximately $2,000 per student, the Society is helping orphans successfully complete an academic degree or vocational training in order to steer them towards a promising future. The scholarship recipients receive a monthly stipend for living expenses, enabling better focus on their studies. More importantly, however, they are closely guided by their mentors who are always there to listen and provide the necessary support to help the children flourish and feel cared for. RCWS requires academic transcripts from each scholarship recipient, as well as reports on the use of the stipend to ensure accountability. Over 70 of our scholarship recipients have thus far completed their schooling and found employment.
Over the years, RCWS has received numerous thank you letters from our scholarship recipients. This note is from Elena Novikova, student at Pskov Technical College, majoring in economics and accounting: “This past academic year was incredibly busy! I met new people, familiarized myself with my field of study, and discovered new interests, activities, and courses in an environment completely different than an orphanage. So far my studies are centered around economics, which I find truly interesting and useful. The RCWS scholarship has helped me a lot: I could get myself school supplies, a uniform for physical education, and a laptop for classes! I also want to thank the program for teaching me presentation skills: I was able to get an A (5 in Russia) on my computer science exam!”
RCWS has been expanding the scholarship program, adding new partners and increasing the number of participating students. Currently, RCWS provides scholarships to 10 young musicians affiliated with the Spivakov Foundation.