The Education Fund was established in 2005 by Keith and Mary Ladd, owners of The Protection Bureau, for the benefit of children of current employees who enroll in formal programs for post-high school education. “Looking back, it’s hard to believe that 14 years have gone by. It’s heartwarming to see these young adults at our company events — hearing what they’ve accomplished and how far they’ve come,” said Mary Ladd. “This project was one that was close to Keith’s heart. I know he would be very happy that we’ve been able to continue it.”
Recipients are selected each June for the ensuing school year and these awards help to defray the costs of tuition and/or books. Initially, distributions of only four awards per year (up to $1,000 each) were anticipated. This year seven scholarships were distributed to families in the office for students attending colleges and universities. To date, 74 students have received scholarships totaling $74,000 over the past 14 years. Of these applicants, some received scholarships for three and four years running.
A panel of three independent judges received the unopened applications and made the decision with no input from the company other than to verify eligibility of the applicant. These awards are entirely outside the control or influence of company management. Judge Vicki Pry, pastor of caring ministries, Hopewell UMC, said, “As a former teacher, I’m passionate about education. What a blessing it has been for me to serve on this review team since the inception of the Ladd Education Fund! Reading the applications submitted by these young folks year after year gives me a hope for the future. I believe it is incredibly important to resource persons who value education and who long to make a difference in the world. These scholarships do just that.”