SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Partners for Community Action gave out $13,000 dollars in scholarships to Springfield residents. Each of the 13 scholarship recipients received $1000.

“For a refugee and an immigrant it’s really important important for me to get the scholarship to help my parents pay the bills. To be the kind of person who can achieve in my family is really good, to be here and be honored and have this scholarship,” scholarship winner, Fatima Sultan told 22News.

The class of awardees has three high school graduates and 10 adult learners who will all be attending college or a certificate program in fall of 2021. The scholarships are based in part on the applicants community service and volunteer efforts, instead of solely on GPA. “I helped out fundraising for cancer patients. I did a seven weeks challenge where I do fundraising,” Sultan continued.

Since 2003, the Springfield Partners Scholarship Program has helped over 200 low-to-moderate income students by giving more than $241,000 in awards.

“It feels really good, feels really good. When I went to school I didn’t have the benefit of that so I wanted to pass it on to others,” Springfield Partners for Community Action Executive Director Paul Bailey told 22News.

The funding for the scholarships comes from private funders and the Springfield Department of Housing and Community Development.