The Robert Felix Memorial Scholarship is the oldest endowed grant program administered by the TREE Fund, established in the original 2002 Declaration of Trust that established the TREE Fund as a charitable grant-making organization. Bob Felix’s dedication to the green industry spanned more than 30 years and was defined by his contributions to the National Arborist Association (NAA, now known as the Tree Care Industry Association, or TCIA). Bob served on the NAA Board of Directors and became its president in 1972, and afterward spent 23 years as the association’s executive vice president. In these roles, Bob made such an impact that his legacy continues to resonate today. The memorial scholarship issued in his name is for students enrolled in an undergraduate or technical college who are actively pursuing a professional career in commercial arboriculture.
Scholarship award amounts are $5,000 each, to be paid in two increments, one in the fall semester, one in the spring. (Second payment is contingent upon re-enrollment and GPA standards being met). The award is non-renewable, and no applicant may receive more than one award from this program. All awards will be paid directly to the educational institution attended by the recipient after required documentation has been received. Awards may only be applied to tuition expense, and applicants may not request scholarships greater than the anticipated amount of their tuition expense for the academic year in which the grants will be paid.
All of the following criteria must be met to qualify:
- Actively pursuing a professional career in commercial arboriculture
- Entering second year of a two-year program, or entering third/fourth year of a four-year program in the fall after the grant award (e.g., apply in January to March 2023 for classes beginning Summer/Fall 2023)
- 3.0 GPA minimum
- Current student member of the International Society of Arboriculture
TREE Fund will accept letters of interest to apply between January 15 and March 1, those who qualify will have until March 15 to complete their application. Please send an email containing a brief (no more than 100 words) introduction of yourself (e.g., name, school, year, expected graduation date, and applicable work information) to firstname.lastname@example.org with your interest to apply for a scholarship. TREE Fund staff will confirm eligibility for consideration, and if you qualify, will send you a numbered application form for your use. You may apply for more than one TREE Fund scholarship on a single application form.
Upon completion of this application form, you will save a Word version for your records, then create a PDF version of the completed document with title in the format “Your Surname, Scholarship Program, Application Number” (e.g., “Smith, Felix, #20-023”), and email it as an attachment to email@example.com with a PDF of your reference letters (two required), and your academic transcript. Staff will confirm receipt of your application at that time.
Applicants will need the following information to complete the form. (Note: Word count limits are firm. Exceeding word counts may result in your application being rejected before review. Applicants should compose their text in Word or related systems that allow counts to be confirmed before they are placed in the application form.)
- Educational standing and enrollment status
- History of scholarships and extracurricular activities
- Essay describing your reasons for pursuing your chosen career, your goals and objectives, and why you should be chosen for this scholarship (maximum 1000 words)
- Current transcript
- Proof of student membership in the International Society of Arboriculture
- Two letters of recommendation or contact information for people who will provide them (one must be from your academic advisor)
CRITERIA FOR SELECTION
TREE Fund is particularly interested in having scholarship recipients begin and remain in careers in arboriculture, urban forestry, or related green industries. Applicant essays should provide TREE Fund with a sense of the student’s career aspirations and plans within these industries, and academic, work and extracurricular activities should reflect commitment toward this goal.
Applications will be evaluated by TREE Fund’s Education Committee. Members of this committee will rate applications using the following rubric:
- Cumulative GPA: 20 points
- Essay: 30 points
- Advisor letter of recommendation: 20 points
- Second letter of recommendation: 15 points
- Potential for continuing career in arboriculture, urban forestry, or related fields: 15 points
- Total Maximum Possible Score: 100 points.
Recommendations on scholarship awards will be presented to TREE Fund Board of Trustees in May, each year, and will be announced within two weeks of their decision.
TREE Fund does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender, sexual orientation, disability or national or ethnic origin. Current trustees of TREE Fund or any member of the family of any such trustee are ineligible to receive scholarships from TREE Fund.
AWARD NOTIFICATION AND FUND DISTRIBUTION
Recipients will be notified within two weeks of TREE Fund Board of Trustees’ award decision. The award letter will include instructions on submitting acceptance information for the scholarship award.
Upon TREE Fund’s receipt of the acceptance information, the first ($2,500) scholarship payment will be made to the institution.