Marysville Pilchuck alumni award first college scholarships

MARYSVILLE — A group of Marysville Pilchuck High School alumni have made their first scholarship grants to two graduates entering college in the fall.

The group, which calls itself the MP Memorial Foundation, was established shortly after the school shootings last year. The group initially sold “Pray for Pilchuck” car window decals, but then organized as a nonprofit with the intention of having a more lasting impact on the community.

The foundation plans to continue to award scholarships to graduates who want to go into the health or human service fields.

“Our main goal was to get scholarships out, and our focus is on human services and make those more accessible,” said Emily Wicks, the vice president of public relations for the group.

The group gave $1,000 “Caring for Your Community Scholarships” to Jazmyn Allen and Taylor Tidrick.

Allen will attend Western Washington University to become a high school guidance counselor. Tidrick has enrolled in Evergreen State College and plans to major in psychology.

“All my life I’ve been around people who have seemed down and low and I’ve always wanted to help them a lot,” Tidrick said. “I’ve been in the same position as them.”

After the shootings last year, she said, she talked with the school’s psychologist, who reinforced her desire to go into the field. “I watched a lot of friends go down into depression after that, and I just really wanted to help them out,” she said.

The foundation held two fundraising events this year and has a balance of just under $6,000.

Wicks explained that the challenge has been not just raising money but also awareness, not just of the shooting but of efforts at strengthening the community.

The group’s members are volunteers and the foundation runs on a bare-bones budget, Wicks said. “We’re trying to do our small piece of that pie,” she said.

The MP Memorial Foundation is not affiliated with the larger MPHS Recovery Fund, which is run by the city of Marysville, the Marysville School District and the Tulalip Tribes. The foundation is helping promote the upcoming “Walk of Strength” at the school Oct. 24, the one-year anniversary of the shootings.

Chris Winters: 425-374-4165; cwinters@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @Chris_At_Herald.

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