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The Curtis Fund – Expanding Educational Opportunities for Vermonters

Curtis 2022 23 Academic Year Scholarships

For the 2022-23 academic year, The Curtis Fund distributed almost $1.9 million in scholarships to Vermont Students. $1,578,750 to 464 Vermont students pursuing a two-or four-year degree and $315,000 to 232 students pursuing a certificate or credential of value program.

Meet Krissy

When Krissy Callahan’s instructors at BETA Technologies learned that she’d never flown in a plane they promptly took her up in a helicopter so she could experience, first-hand, what all the fuss was about.

Since childhood, Krissy knew she wanted to fly airplanes. Unfortunately, she has a thyroid condition that made her ineligible for a military career. So instead, after high school graduation Krissy became a phlebotomist and found work in a hospital lab where she was kept very busy during the Covid pandemic. But she still had a dream to work in aviation. “The only thing stopping me was funding,” said Krissy. That was until she received a Curtis Fund scholarship in 2022 to enroll in Burlington Technical Center’s two-year Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic (A&P) program. The A&P program is a time-intensive, rigorous program—made even more challenging because Krissy commutes daily roughly 90 minutes each way, between her home in Ryegate and school in Burlington. "Coming from a lower-income background I wasn't sure what was possible but I'm determined and I'm used to getting stuff done. My scholarship is helping me achieve this."

This determination is paying off. When Krissy completes her program next year, she’ll be 22 years old and highly skilled in a growing industry where she can earn $40 -$50 an hour. Krissy is excited about the range of opportunities available in Vermont. “The aviation industry here is very diverse. You can work for a major airline, airline engine manufacturers, the National Guard, and others.”

5000 Vermonters graduate from high school every year. What happens next is up to you.

What if postsecondary education was dependent on students’ abilities and interests, not on their income?

Each year approximately 5,000 students graduate from Vermont high schools. The fortunate ones have a postsecondary education plan and the resources to fund it. Just over half of young Vermonters choose to continue their education and the half that don’t often make this decision because they lack the necessary financial resources.

The Curtis Fund, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, is the leading private provider of postsecondary education scholarships. And it started with a gift from one person, Emma Eliza Curtis. In 1910 Emma Eliza Curtis left a gift in her will to ensure that future Vermonters could seek education or training regardless of their personal wealth.

Her original gift of $120,000 established an endowment that through wise investment and additional charitable giving from community members has helped fund the education of 12,000 students. But to ensure that every student who wants a postsecondary education can pursue it will require the vision and commitment of many more Vermonters.

You can make a difference.

Every gift, large or small, helps Vermonters achieve their dreams for education and a better life. There are many ways you can help Vermont students achieve their educational goals. If you have questions we’d be happy to speak with you. Call Shana at 802-324-4833 or

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