Want to further your education, but your high school or college graduations are in the rear-view mirror? Don’t let that stop you from moving forward.

The St. Cloud Chamber partners with the Education Foundation to offer scholarships for both adult and high school students.

But don’t delay, act now, supplies are running out … as is the Feb. 1 application deadline for the short and simple application.

The scholarships will be awarded in April. This is an annual event; the Chamber will start accepting applications again for next year’s allotment in November.

Pattie Burdick, who just wrapped up an era with the Education Foundation and serves as the St. Cloud Chamber’s Education chair, reminds folks that there are very few adult education scholarship opportunities in the area outside of St. Cloud.

“That speaks volumes. That lets you know your city believes in adults and the workforce and that you have to have the skills to be competitive. We’d like to see more people take advantage of it … but that’s a Catch-22, because then we have to go and raise the money for them. So we’re constantly raising money. It’s all economy.”

Instead of, as an example, holding a fundraising event, the capital needed to put it on comes out of what’s needed to put it on.

“To have nothing but volunteers run it is just too taxing on the staff. What we like to do is add on to an event that they’re already doing.”

For example, the public can make a donation to the Chamber Foundation at the Feb. 8 St. Cloud Scavenger Hunt, and there will be extra donation opportunities at the Chamber’s golf tournament in April (stay tuned for more details).

“If you’re a St. Cloud businessperson and you believe in education enough. The more we make, the better it is.”

Valencia’s advanced manufacturing programs are tailor-fit to locals, and the Chamber’s program offers up $500 to $1,000 scholarships for winners to put toward them. The goal annually is to offer up five to six of them.

“We want people to know we support people being the best they can be. And if money is a problem, then we’re going to try to help as much as we can. We’ve helped people going for bachelor’s, Master’s and accreditations. It’s a wide variety, and that’s the beauty of it. People who will be valued employees and members of our St. Cloud society, and that’s what we want.”

To download the applications, go to www.stcloudflchamber.com/scholarships. Don’t delay for this year; eligibility requirements include a letter of recommendation from a St. Cloud Chamber member, along with being a high school graduate or GED recipient and a legal U.S. resident who’s lived in the great St. Cloud area for at least three years.