Vocational Scholarships

Palo Alto Rotary Club
Robert Smithwick Vocational Scholarships
for Academic Year 2022 - 2023

Eligibility, Schedule, Instructions & Application Form

The Rotary Club of Palo Alto vocational scholarships are intended to provide financial assistance to students who will enroll in an accredited career program or vocational program at a community college in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.  These scholarships are named in honor of Dr. Robert Smithwick, a founder of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District and long-time Rotarian. Dr. Smithwick was active in community service and devoted to improving health and education locally and abroad.

Eligible students will enroll in a program leading to a certificate or degree, and will plan to go directly into employment in that field upon completion of the program. Examples of vocational programs include but are not limited to: automotive technology, accounting, child development, dental hygiene, fashion design, graphic design, medical assisting, and many others. The scholarships are primarily need-based rather than grade-based. The scholarships are not intended for general academic pursuits, for students intending to transfer to four-year colleges, or for graduate degrees.

Up to ten (10) scholarships will be awarded typically in amounts varying from $500 to $2,000 for full-time students and lesser amounts for part-time students.  The award will be paid to the student upon confirmation of enrollment: it is intended to support the vocational educational goals of the recipient and may be used for tuition or other expenses incurred in pursuit of the educational program.



Eligible applicants include:

  • High school seniors who will graduate in June, 2022 and will enroll in a career/vocational program in fall of 2022
  • Students currently enrolled in an accredited career/vocational program described above, and continuing in that program in fall of 2022.
  • Returning students: individuals with high school degrees who have been out of school and are returning to pursue a career/vocational education.

All applicants must enroll in no fewer than 6 units in an accredited career/vocational program in fall of 2022, and must intend to remain enrolled in 6 units or more for the full 2022-2023 academic year.


Schedule of Application & Review

Schedule of announcement and application process:

  • Friday, April 15, 2022—Application Deadline
  • Friday, April 22, 2022—Applicants notified if they will be interviewed
  • Saturday, May 7, 2022—Interviews
  • Monday, May 9, 2022—Make up interviews
  • Friday, May 13, 2022—Notification of decisions

Application Process: Application forms may be obtained from our website:  www.rotarypaloalto.org, by clicking on the Vocational Scholarships link. Save the form to your files, fill it out and save the completed form to your files.


Instructions for Submission of Application

  • E-mail your completed application as an attachment to: winterskeeper@gmail.com. In the subject line, please type: Vocational Scholarship Application (add your last name)
  • If e-mail is not possible, see mailing address below.

Instructions for Submission of Letters of Recommendation:

One letter of recommendation must also be sent to support your application, preferably from a current or former instructor.  You should send this page of application instructions to the person who will be writing a recommendation for you. It will help them understand the intent of the scholarship, and the procedure for them to submit their recommendation.

  • Letters of recommendation should be e-mailed to: winterskeeper@gmail.com   E-mail Subject Line:  Vocational Scholarship Recommendation (write last name of student here)

If e-mail is not possible, applications and letters of recommendations may be mailed to:

Palo Alto Rotary
Vocational Scholarships
P. O. Box 592
Palo Alto, CA  94302


Application Form   

If you wish to apply or know someone who wishes to apply for a Vocational Scholarship, please download the application below.  Follow instructions printed on the application form and return the completed form, along with other required documentation to: winterskeeper@gmail.com or mail to:

Palo Alto Rotary
Vocational Scholarships
P.O. Box 592
Palo Alto, CA 94302

Palo Alto Rotary Robert Smithwick Vocational Scholarships Application Form

Thank you for your Application!