Southdale Center in Edina seeks scholarship applicants

Southdale Center is once again help deserving local high school seniors pay for college. Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, is looking for qualified applicants who live near Southdale Center and the surrounding communities.

Each year, Simon Youth Community Scholarships are awarded in every community across the country that is home to a Simon mall, mills, or premium outlets center. The application period has begun and ends on February 15, 2018. Students can apply online by visiting syf.org/scholarships.

Any student who will graduate in the class of 2018 and lives in the designated community surrounding Southdale Center is eligible. Applicants can check their eligibility by entering their ZIP code at syf.org/scholarships. Recipients will receive up to $1,500 toward tuition and other educational expenses at an accredited college, university, vocational, or technical school.

The scholarship program is one facet of the Simon Supports Education initiative, launched earlier this spring at all Simon properties. As part of this initiative, visitors at Southdale Center can now purchase Simon Youth Foundation Simon VISA gift cards, redeemable wherever VISA is accepted. One dollar from the sale of each Simon Youth Foundation-branded card will go directly to support the foundation and its mission.

Scholarship recipients will be selected based on a variety of criteria, including financial need, academic performance, leadership skills, and participation in school and community activities. Those students who are the first in their family to pursue a post-secondary education will also be given close consideration.

In 2017, the Simon Youth Foundation awarded $1.6 million to 335 students nationwide. This year’s recipients will be notified in May.

Simon Youth Foundation is a nonprofit that partners with public school districts to open dropout recovery academies inside Simon shopping malls. The organization now has 30 Simon Youth Academies in 12 states. In the organization’s 19-year history, nearly 16,000 students have earned their diploma and more than $17 million in scholarships have been awarded.