Past Scholarship Winners

Bennett-Hemenway Jacquilin Searle Memorial Scholarship

Every year, the Bennett-Hemenway PTO funds a scholarship for Ben-Hem alumni that are graduating from Natick High School.  The scholarship is in memory of Jacky Searle who was a 1st grade teacher at Ben-Hem for over 20 years.

Scholarship Application Details

Jacky Searle was a 1st grade teacher at Bennett-Hemenway School for more than twenty years.  Her memory is honored with this scholarship.  Student applicants must have attended Bennett-Hemenway School, be going on to higher education, and write an essay with the following idea in mind: "Service to others is a value to be celebrated and each one of us can make a difference."

2012-2013 Scholarship Awarded to: Casey Kelly (Ben-Hem Class of 2005)

Why Service to Others Makes A Difference

The action of giving back to others is truly the greatest gift that one can give themselves.  Acts of charity and kindness make the receivers feel thankful, loved, and hopeful.  And the lives of those who perform the acts are enriched in ways that could not have otherwise come about.  Making another person or people happy is the most selfless thing a person can do, an it is the selflessness that helps to make the giver a more whole person because it connects them to others.  Without acts of kindness, we would all become self-centered and uninvolved, leaving those who are helpless to fend for themselves.  Charity brings people together, and creates a sense of community that gives them purpose.

There is no price that could be put on service to others, because every service is of equal importance.  Even the smallest act, such as making a sad friend laugh, is a positive action.  And positive actions most often have further positive repercussions.  An example of this is at a Dunkin Donuts after the recent Connecticut elementary school shooting.  At a drive thru Dunkin Donuts, one person asked the cashier to put whatever the car behind them ordered on their card, in honor of the children and teachers of Newtown.  This action was then repeated consecutively by each car that traveled through, as they were told why their order had already been paid for.  This lasted for nearly a day.  The shooting also sparked a chain reaction, known as "26 Acts of Kindness".  People from all over did 26 acts to represent each of the innocent victims killed in Newtown, whether it be the same act repeated 26 times or 26 separate services.  Each act was one to positively remember the fallen, and the kindness quickly spread.

I have always striven to leave a positive mark on wherever I have gone and whomever I have met.  Since I was in Kindergarten I have been a Girl Scout and an active member of my troop.  As a troop, we have done many acts of community service to give back.  The most memorable act we performed was for our Bronze Award.  Once a month for a year, my troop and I would obtain a list of all the children who had birthdays that month at the local homeless shelter, along with a list of what they hoped to receive for their birthdays.  We would select one gift off of each list to wrap and give to each child, and brought cake and activities for the other children who were living at the homeless shelter.  At the birthday parties we would play music and dance with all of the children, do arts and crafts, eat cake, and watch the children who had birthdays that month excitedly open their presents.  We are currently working on our Gold Award, a town wide all ages Girl Scout art project, which will be displayed at the town library.  I have stayed with Girls Scouts for the last 12 years because of the friendships it has given me, and the opportunities it has given me to give back to my community.  My community has been a very positive influence on me, and so I have done my best to give back as much as possible.

Every service performed for others brings out an inner joy, and brings people closer together.  It is these services that create communities, and keep society moving forward.  Without them, the world would become a very distant and unwelcoming place.  For money cannot buy happiness, and it certainly cannot create selflessness.  Because every act, no matter how big or small, is performed out of the goodness of that person's heart.  Thus, continued service to others is the symbol that the love and connection amongst the human race is still alive and well.