NHFGC Scholarship Report
Audrey Vargish, Scholarship Chair

Every year, three scholarships in the amount of $1000.00 each are awarded to students in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) at the University of New Hampshire (UNH).  These scholarships are the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs Scholarship, the Jean L. Thompson Scholarship and the Alice and Karl Jorda Scholarship.

The New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs Scholarship was established at UNH with annual gifts from the Federation, its members, clubs and friends.   In order to continue to support its outstanding student recipients, it is important for all clubs in the NHFGC to participate in annual donations to the scholarship fund.

The Jean L. Thompson Scholarship was established in her honor by her daughters, Lindsay Thompson and Elizabeth Thompson.  Jean belonged to Federated Garden Clubs for over 40 years wherever she lived and was honored by a Life Membership in both the NHFGC, Inc. and NGC, Inc.

The Alice and Karl Jorda Scholarship was established by them on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary on August 12, 2006.  Alice served as the NHFGC  President from 2003 t0 2005.  Sadly, Alice passed away on April 29, 2020.

These scholarships provide financial support to either UNH undergraduate or graduate students in programs and concentrations related to plant and environmental sciences, such as plant biology, environmental horticulture, forestry, forest technology, environmental conservation, and sustainability studies, wildlife management, environmental sciences, and other closely related programs.  Recipients must be New Hampshire residents and are selected on the basis of academic performance, good character, service, and leadership ability in their fields of endeavor.  Click here to view the application details.  Applications must be submitted by the beginning of March to the COLSA Dean’s Office.

In 2020, the New Hampshire Federation of Garden Clubs Scholarship was awarded to Jessi Chmielewsk of Middleton, NH.  Jessi is a Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major with a 4.0 GPA.

The 2020 recipient of the Jean L. Thompson Scholarship is Kelsey Mercurio of Nashua, NH.  Kelsey has a double major in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, and Biochemistry, Molecular and Cellular Biology with a 3.96 GPA.

In 2020, the Alice and Karl Jorda Scholarship was awarded to Emily Chen of Jaffrey, NH.   Emily is an Environmental Science: Ecosystems major with minors in Forestry and International Affairs and has a 3.85 GPA.

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NGC Scholarships

Each year, National Garden Clubs, Inc. offers up to forty-one scholarships (limited mostly to one per state) in the amount of $4000.00.  One year scholarships are available to juniors, seniors and graduate students pursuing a Master’s Degree who are planning a career related to gardening, landscape design, environmental issues, floral design or horticulture.  A list of eligible majors can be found online.  Among the criteria for applicants: one must be a US Citizen or Permanent Legal Resident of the United States: one must be attending school full-time as defined by the NGC: one must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale).  Full information on requirements and application forms can be found at: https://www.gardenclub.org/college-scholarships .  Applications need to be submitted by February 1st to the NHFGC Scholarship Chair, Audrey Vargish, at 22 Montana Drive, Sandown, NH 03873.  All applications received will be judged by that Chair and a committee to choose one winning application.  After judging has been completed at the state level, the chosen application will be sent to the NGC Scholarship Chair by March 1st.

In 2012, Henry Glick was awarded NGC’s Kitty Larkin Scholarship in the amount of $3500.

During NGC President Shirley Nicolai’s term (2011-2013), she asked her Scholarship Chairman to contact the State Presidents of all 50 states and the National Capital Area to determine the total number of dollars awarded to students, on average, in any given year through their garden club sponsored scholarship programs. As President Nicolai suspected, the grand total was astounding: $ 1,515,034!  YES, One million, five hundred fifteen thousand and thirty-four dollars! And this number is most likely on the low side as some clubs and/or state organizations, for their own reasons, chose not to divulge their scholarship numbers. New England alone awarded $307,175 to high school and college students pursuing fields of study related to horticulture and the environment. Yeah us!

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Several NH garden clubs offer scholarships of their own.  One needs to contact their local club for more information.

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NHFGC Scholarships Awarded in Prior Years

In 2019, three scholarships were awarded to:
Jean L. Thompson scholarship ($1000)                             Preston Massingham
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($1000)                            Maggie Albert
NHFGC scholarship ($1000)                                               Amy Labrecque

In 2018, five scholarships were awarded to:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               Susanna Bicknell
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               David Moore
Jean L. Thompson scholarship ($500)                               Matthew Morris
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Sabrina Bellerose
NHFGC scholarship ($500)                                                 Marc Lachance

In 2017, five scholarships were awarded to:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               Katherine Andrews
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               Chloe Carter
Jean L. Thompson scholarship ($500)                               Matthew Morris
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Bekah Diamond-Bier
NHFGC scholarship ($500)                                                 Mikaya Minor

The 2016 scholarships were awarded as follows:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               Kaitlyn Orde
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($500)                               Samantha Werner
Jean L. Thompson scholarship ($500)                               Molly Jacobson
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Daryn Clevesy
NHFGC scholarship ($500)                                                 Emily Balcom

The 2015 scholarships were awarded as follows:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship ($1000)                             Matthew Smith
Jean L. Thompson scholarship ($500)                               Shenandoah Crook
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Natalie Feldsine
NHFGC scholarship ($500)                                                 Rory Carroll

 The 2014 scholarships were awarded to:
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Jill Bartolotta
NH Federation of Garden Clubs  ($500)                             Christopher Blackington
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($500)                             Brendan Newell
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($500)                             Abigail Gronberg
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($500)                             Lisa Graichen

The 2013 scholarships were awarded to:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($1,000)                           Nicholas B. Lanzer
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                              Jessica S. Veysey
NH Federation of Garden Clubs  ($500)                             Leandra M. Mema
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($500)                             Hannah M. Traggis

In 2012, the scholarships were awarded to:
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($1,000)                           Emily Spognardi
Alice & Karl Jorda Scholarship  ($500)                               Stephanie Coster
NH Federation of Garden Clubs  ($500)                              Lindsay Green
Jean L. Thompson Scholarship  ($500)                              Jessica Veysey