VDTA/Bernie Epstein College Scholarship Fund
|Past Scholarship Winners |
BESF Donation Form
Scholarship Criteria | 2018 Scholarship Application
How the VDTA/Epstein Scholarship Works
PURPOSE: The purpose of the VDTA/Epstein Scholarship is to assist the youth of our industry in attending college. The scholarship is available for VDTA•SDTA dealer members, their dependents (including grandchildren), employees, and employee dependents. The dealer member must be current and in good standing with their VDTA•SDTA membership in order for the student to apply for, receive, and continue receiving scholarship payments.
CRITERIA: The basic criteria for a scholarship recipient are: must have a minimum 2.5 GPA, attend college on a full time basis (12 credit hours or more), and be active in extra-curricular activities that focus on community, humanitarianism, and/or sports. Each individual is awarded up to $5000, though total scholarship dollars are determined by the student's year in school at the time of the award. Financial need is not used in determining scholarship recipients.
HISTORY: The VDTA/Epstein Scholarship is funded solely through donations. The VDTA/Epstein College Scholarship Fund was founded in 1993 and named after businessman Bernie Epstein of State Vacuum in Tampa, FL. Bernie was quite a philanthropist and known for his community service, humanitarian ways, and ongoing love of sports. Bernie was also very well-known in our industry as caring and loving toward others less fortunate. Over the years, he touched many lives in Tampa and throughout the country.
APPLICATION PROCESS: Scholarship recipients first apply by completing the VDTA/Epstein Scholarship Application found online at VDTA.com and in SQE Professional™ and Floorcare-Central Vac Professional™ magazines. In addition to basic contact information, the application instructs students to submit certified school transcripts, a letter by their referring VDTA•SDTA dealer member, and additional reference letters from 3 individuals. Students must also submit 2 essays (100-word minimums, each): One essay asks students to discuss their educational objectives and planned future career; the other essay asks students to describe their involvement in extra-curricular activities that demonstrates a love of sports, community involvement, humanitarianism, AND/OR leadership ability.
THIRD-PARTY JUDGING: After completing and signing the application, acquiring reference letters and transcripts, and writing the required essays, students mail all of these materials to VDTA headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa. VDTA staff are not involved in the scholarship selection process. All scholarship materials are forwarded to third party individuals qualified to assess scholarship applications. The applications are then scored and ranked by these third party individuals to determine the male and female scholarship recipients.
CONTRIBUTIONS AND DONATIONS: Scholarship donations, including individual money donations, are accepted year-round and at VDTA special events. This year, the annual VDTA/Epstein Charity Night was held on the trade show floor in Las Vegas. Attendees could choose to join the fun at a table, spin the wheel for prizes, or simply cheer on their friends. Tables were sponsored by ESSCO, Janome, RNK Distributing, Steel City Vacuum Company, SVP Worldwide, and Wonderfil Specialty Threads. Food and beverage were sponsored by Steel City Vacuum Company, Janome, Elna, and VDTA•SDTA. Prizes donated for the spinning wheel were sponsored by many generous distributors and manufacturers.
In upcoming months, look for the 2018 VDTA/Epstein Scholarship Application in the pages of our magazines as well as articles on past scholarship recipients and where they are now, thanks to a great education funded in part by our industry!
Congratulations to the 2017 Scholarship winners: