Summit High School graduate wins national STAR Scholarship |

Summit High School graduate wins national STAR Scholarship

Freya Schlaefer

BRECKENRIDGE — The Breckenridge chapter of the Philanthropic Educational Organization presented Summit High School graduate Freya Schlaefer with the STAR Scholarship.

Chapter member Patricia Shaffer described the STAR Scholarship as one of the nonprofit’s most competitive scholarships, attracting thousands of female students across the country to apply. 

Shaffer said there were 2,172 applicants and 880 students were selected to receive the $2,500 scholarship. The international organization has awarded 4,334 female high school seniors with the scholarship over the past 11 years. 

According to Shaffer, it is rare for a Summit High School student to be awarded the Scholarship due to its competitive nature.

“It’s pretty rare that someone locally is selected for this national scholarship,” Shaffer said. “We have nominated a few other girls, and none of them have made the cut. The students across the board, across the country, are fantastic girls. You wouldn’t believe some of the things they are involved in.”

In order to be eligible for the STAR Scholarship, candidates must meet certain prequalifications, including a minimum 3.0 gpa, and find a way to stand out in their extracurricular activities and demonstrations of leadership.

Shaffer said what she believes made Schlaefer stand out was her dedication to service. 

“I think her leadership and her wanting to serve other people was one of the most important things in my mind,” Shaffer said. “It’s just over the top with all of the things she is involved with.”

Schlaefer now attends Reed College and can use the scholarship money, split over two semesters, to pay for her college expenses.

The Breckenridge chapter also nominates local students for other financial aid and scholarships, such as the Educational Loan Fund, which provides loans for women pursuing master’s degrees, as well as the Program for Continuing Education, which gives grants to adult women desiring to pursue higher education. In addition, the chapter has given scholarships to candidates for the Patti Casey Empowering Women Scholarship at Colorado Mountain College. 

Interested students can find more information about applying for these programs at

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