Help Turn Their Dreams into Reality

Why The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program

The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program targets a subset of the population that is often overlooked. This population consists of people who are barely able to support themselves financially and unable to fund their own advancement, due to limited resources. Some have already overcome extreme adversity and face the risk of remaining stuck in low-income status; others struggle financially every day.

We provide financial assistance (gap funding) for college or workforce development training programs to graduating high school seniors and other adults who are low-income and live in subsidized housing in Montgomery County, Maryland. We are unique because:

  • We serve a specific disadvantaged population
  • Our “gap” fund scholarships may be awarded for as many years needed by a recipient to complete a degree or certification
  • Awards may be used for childcare, transportation, computer/other needed equipment, and fees, as well as for books and tuition.
  • We provide mentoring/guidance and resources to help our awardees adjust to a college environment.

How You Can Support Us

Your donations will help us provide support for the deserving students’ needs to succeed in achieving their dreams. Donations are 100% tax-deductible. The Bernie Scholarship Awards Program is a component fund of The Greater Washington Community Foundation (GWCF), a 501(c)(3) organization.


Check donations: Download the attached form (available as PDF) and include it with your mail-in check.

Online credit card donations: Montgomery County Community Foundation

Stocks and securities donations: Contact Kate Daniel 301-495-3036 ext. 169, [email protected].


We are always looking for volunteers to serve as Board or Advisory Board Members or consultants.

Former Board member Marilyn Joy Leeseberg says, “I enjoy volunteering for The Bernie because I admire the students who are working so hard to gain an education.  I also feel that these students will go on to help others in ways that I can’t even imagine.  I feel like I’m contributing to the greater community for years into the future by supporting scholars today.”

If you are looking for a way to connect with our community in 2023, please consider becoming a volunteer. We are looking to add leaders for our Board and Advisory Committee.  

The following volunteer positions are available:

*       Development
*       Promotions, Outreach, Engagement & Events
*       Board/Advisory members
*       Grant researchers/writer    


Spread the word to potential applicants, donors, and board members. Friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Thank You

Bernie Scholarship Awards Program is a component of the Greater Washington Community foundation

We are truly grateful for your assistance.  Our goals are to increase both the number of awardees and the scholarship fund amount that we can give them.

Greater Washington Community Foundation