HENDERSON — The Rotary Club of Henderson has begun taking applications for a trio of $2,500 college scholarships that are available to seniors in any of Vance County’s high schools.

Applicants have to write an essay explaining how the Rotary motto, “Service above self,” is evident in their lives and how they’ll uphold in in college and beyond. The deadline for submissions is noon on April 30.

The club’s scholarship chairman, local attorney Rix Edwards, said he will redact the applications so the student’s name and school, among other things, isn’t visible to the people who will evaluate them so that the applicants are “on an equal playing ground” and the evaluators can make a blind judgment about which essays are the best.

The idea is that a decision should be forthcoming on May 21. The $2,500 is a one-time payment, not a continuing annual award

Edwards said the club wants to “reach as many people as possible” with the process and is reaching out to the Vance County Schools, Vance-Granville Community College, the county’s charter schools and its private schools.

The scholarship is also open to home-schooled students.

The application drive has begun in “the past two days,” Edwards said. Would-be scholarship recipients can get their applications to him by email to redwards@sszlaw.net, or by U.S. Postal Service mail marked in care of D. Rix Edwards, Stainback, Satterwhite & Zollicoffer PLLC, 115 N. Garnett St., Henderson, NC 27536.

The club cautions that applications “must be actually received” by noon on April 30. There are no exceptions, even for envelopes postmarked on April 30 but received after that date.

“We make a level playing field, the same rules apply to everybody,” Edwards said. “We hope we get some good submissions.”

The local Rotary chapter was founded in 1922, and “one of our primary focuses … is education,” he said.

It is part of a network of similar organizations that includes more than 35,000 clubs worldwide, with about 1.2 million members, he said.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.

Contact Ray Gronberg at rgronberg@hendersondispatch.com or by phone at 252-436-2850.