The George Snow Scholarship Fund has sent more than 2,000 kids to college over the past few decades
By now everyone knows where Boca’s Ballroom Battle and the annual Cowboy Ball come from. The story behind the charity that started them—the George Snow Scholarship Fund—is also a familiar tale to longtime Boca people. It was Tim Snow and his family and friends that launched the charity in 1980 to honor his father, George Snow, killed in a tragic helicopter accident in 1980.
Since the first scholarship was awarded in 1982, Tim says the organization has helped 2,163 students, and the charity is a much beloved Boca Raton institution. It’s the natural legacy of George Snow and his family, who came to Boca Raton in 1958 when Tim, now 64, was 2 years old.
“My dad came to South Florida to be a high school math teacher at Seacrest High School, now Atlantic High School,” Tim says. “He later went into real estate and construction and did pretty well for himself with the growth of South Florida and Boca Raton, in particular. While he was alive he was always trying to help young people who were trying to help themselves.”
THE TYPICAL SNOW SCHOLAR:
They are all leaders in the schools or their communities. They all have financial need of some kind, and in many cases they have special circumstances or they’ve overcome a major challenge in their lives. We’re just looking for kids who are motivated and, again, who are trying to help themselves and others.
Palm Beach County is an interesting place—you can go anywhere from the affluence of Boca Raton and Palm Beach to the despair of Belle Glade and Pahokee—even some cities on the coast. There are a lot of people who are struggling. The amazing thing is they are raising these young people—I call them rock stars—who excel in spite of the economic challenges they are having and, in many cases, other major challenges.
HARDEST PART OF THE JOB:
Not being able to help everybody we want to help. … There’s so much need out there. It always gets back to a lack of resources.
ON TAP FOR THE FUTURE:
We want to continue to increase the amount of money we are awarding. We don’t just give the students the money; we have a whole array of support services that are designed to increase the students’ chances of success in college and really in their careers. One of the things that I am focused on this year is trying to bring the students back to Palm Beach County. They are all amazing young people, and they are going away to college and most of the time they are getting recruited by these top companies, and they are going to work all over the country. I would like to try to lead an effort to bring them back here and get them jobs so they can contribute to our community.
It is a whole new thing; we are starting with summer internships with different companies here, which we hope will lead to full-time employment after graduation.