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Berkshire Bank Foundation announces 2010 scholarship program

GREATER SPRINGFIELD In an effort to help students pursue their goals of a higher education, Berkshire Bank announces a scholarship opportunity for high school seniors in Berkshire Bank's communities located in Western Massachusetts, northeastern New York and southern Vermont. The Berkshire Bank Foundation Inc. will be granting $36,000 in total scholarship dollars primarily to students who have exemplified community service through their volunteer efforts, have been successful academically and have a demonstrated financial need. The program highlights the foundation's support for education and the bank's commitment to promote volunteerism in the community. "A priority of our bank and foundation is to support quality education and help deserving young people obtain a college degree," said Foundation Executive Director Peter J. Lafayette. "Through this scholarship program, we will be recognizing young people who have made a positive difference in their schools and communities. By targeting these scholarships to these young leaders, we hope to encourage volunteerism among young people that will lead to a lifetime of community service." Under the program, $2,000 scholarships will be awarded to 18 high school seniors who will be attending a two or four year college in the fall. Applications will be evaluated based on demonstrated volunteerism in the community and through participation in extracurricular school activities. In addition, applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and a financial need (total family income under $75,000). Students must apply through their school by March 31 and have the endorsement of their school guidance office. Only five applications per school will be accepted. An independent panel of community volunteers and bank employees will review all applications and select this year's winners. Scholarships will be given out in the regions where Berkshire Bank branches are located, with six to be awarded in Berkshire County, six in the Pioneer Valley, three in southern Vermont and three in the Albany region. Applications can be downloaded on the bank's Web site at www.berkshire bank.com/about_us/in_the_community/berkshire-bank-foundation/scholarships. To be considered, all applications must be received in the foundation's Pittsfield's office by March 31. Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Berkshire Bank Foundation Inc. at scholarshipinfo@berkshirebank.com.

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