DERBY — The Valley Community Foundation has awarded more than $175,000 from more than 60 scholarship funds to students pursuing higher education. Many of these students are entering their first year of higher education this fall, though some awards provide renewable tuition assistance for up to four years.

“For many Valley residents, establishing a scholarship not only pays tribute to their family but it can also memorialize their name at a local high school,” said Sharon Closius, Valley Community Foundation president and CEO, in a news release. “Whether it’s participation on a sports team, the longevity of family history, or memorializing lifetime friendships that were made, establishing a scholarship to benefit local high schools is an investment in our community’s future and reflects the value of higher education.”

Civic organizations, such as Rotary Clubs, and local businesses have a tradition of providing annual scholarships to Valley high schools, and now more individuals and families are helping to create a pool of permanent scholarship funds.

For years, the community foundation has worked with the Valley’s high schools to manage and administer scholarship funds. Rather than a high school holding the scholarship money in a CD or savings account, scholarships are established, managed, and invested with the Valley Community Foundation.

Donors can simply select eligibility requirements for the scholarship based on a student’s field of study, academic achievements, extracurricular activities, financial need, background, or geography. Some scholarships give a single award to support a graduating senior pursuing higher education while others can be renewable through college.

Those interested in establishing a scholarship fund can contact Closius at 203-751-9162 or