In 1998, Don Skop, a lifelong resident of Otsego County, was killed in a tragic accident while on the job at the Otsego County Road Commission garage. To honor his memory, his wife, son, daughter, friends, neighbors, and several fellow Otsego Road Commission colleagues combined resources to establish the Don Skop Memorial Scholarship in June of 1998. This scholarship is for students who wish to pursue a career in the trades.  

This scholarship is open to any Otsego County high school graduate with a 2.0 GPA or higher and attending an accredited institution in a vocational field or skilled trade after high school. Since its establishment, 24 scholarships have been awarded, totaling $11,150. The current scholarship amount is $500 per student.  

Scholarships create a ripple effect that strengthens our community. We all benefit when high school graduates pursue higher education and bring their skills back to Otsego County. These students not only gain valuable skills but grow personally during their time in school too. 

The first semester went great, a little bit more challenging due to online learning. Near the end of it, the scholarship was very helpful and allowed me to save a lot of money, and I am very grateful for it!

–Scholarship Recipient Ryne Bennett

I have been enjoying my time in the welding engineering program, learning how to weld and about metallurgical composition in metal. I am learning how to gas tungsten arc weld (GTAW). There is so much beauty in watching metal fuse together! Not only have I seen growth in my studies, but I have seen growth as a person. I have started to form friendships within my program and around campus. 

–Scholarship Recipient RaeAnn Kievit

Our mission at the Otsego Community Foundation is to activate generosity for a strong community. Scholarship funds like the Don Skop Memorial Fund help us fulfill our mission. For 25 years, this fund has helped educate Otsego County residents, giving them essential skills individually and strengthening our community collectively. Anyone can contribute to the Don Skop Memorial Scholarship fund and help Otsego County students launch their careers in the trades, click here to give.