Ruby Rutnik Fund Offers College Scholarships to St. John Females

Ruby Rutnik played softball for Antilles School

The Ruby Rutnik Scholarship Fund Inc. invites young women of St. John who are enrolled in college or who plan to attend this fall to apply for a scholarship.

Now in its 24th year, the fund awards up to $5,000 to qualified female students in honor of Ruby Rutnik, who was a senior at American University who died in a car accident in 1996. A softball tournament in 1997 was organized for female high school students throughout the Virgin Islands as a way to fund the scholarship.

In 2014, the Rutnik family decided to end the tournaments and use the funds already raised to establish an endowment through the Gifft Hill School on St. John.  This is especially appropriate as Ruby was one of the original preschool students when the school was founded as the Pine Peace School in 1978.

The goal of the scholarship is to ease the burden of paying for higher education, especially for those attending colleges and universities off-island.  Since its inception, the fund has awarded a total of more than $175,000 to more than three dozen recipients. Last year’s winners were Vela Culbert, a junior at Goucher College near Baltimore, Md., and Jada Jarvis, a freshman at the New School in New York City.

Students can pick up applications at Connections in Cruz Bay or Coral Bay, or by contacting the Rutniks at 693-8069.

The deadline for submission is May 30. Notice will be given on or before June 12.

Those wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund are asked to make their checks payable to Gifft Hill School, noting RRSF on the bottom of the check, and mail to Gifft Hill School, PO Box 1657, St. John, VI 00831.