by Belinda Judson
Executive Director, Mid-States NATO
have always been a very giving group, a fact continuously
underscored by their generous support of many worthwhile endeavors
including the remarkable recent movie night to benefit
the victims of 9/11.
the good fortune recently to witness and be a part of a program
that once again testified to the way this industry rallies
in support of causes to benefit others, that being a scholarship
program for cinema employees.
many NATO state/regional units already have a program in place,
this was the first time that we had offered scholarships through
Mid-States NATO. I cannot begin to tell you what a heartwarming
and enlightening experience it was and what a commitment everyone
made to ensure the success of the program. Support emerged
from a wide range of sources, including my colleagues in other
states, my Mid-States board, the scholarship committee, the
member companies and the managers of each individual theatre
NATO is proud to announce that the following students
were chosen as the recipients of the 2002 Mid-States
Tower City Cinemas
of the students will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
I am aware that there are other state/regional units that
would like to institute such a program and on behalf
of those already offering scholarships who have always testified
so highly about having the benefit in place I would
like to share some of the process that we used.
the Mid-States NATO board voted on making the commitment to
implement the program. Following approval, a scholarship committee
was selected to put together a proposal regarding application
and eligibility requirements, amounts of scholarships, quantity
of scholarships and judging criteria.
we had no program in place and it seemed silly to reinvent
the wheel as they say, I called upon my peers at other
NATO units who already had expertise in this area. Each and
every one was more than happy to share the parameters of their
awards. While each program was slightly different, this gave
us a great base from which to mold our own process. Upon completion
of our proposal, the scholarship committee brought the draft
back to the board and received approval to send out applications
to our member companies. Their employees could apply for five
was something that truly stunned me. The applications that
we received from our theatre employees were nothing short
of amazing. I wonder if we realize the caliber of employees
we have working with us in our theatres. These students were
not only working long hours in the theatres but were also
making outstanding grades, participating in numerous school
programs and performing countless hours of community service.
Many of these kids had been with their respective employers
throughout their entire work experience. Wow!
you choose? Each and every applicant was highly qualified
and obviously highly motivated. As you can imagine, this made
for a very difficult task for the scholarship committee, which
was charged with judging. Our selection process consisted
of giving each of the six committee members sheets with criteria
from different categories, i.e., need, job performance, school
record, all around, etc., and assigning a maximum percentage
to each category. Each judge would then turn in sheets to
be tallied together with the other committee members.
The top five would be our scholarship recipients.
talking to fellow judges, it was clear that it was a very
thought-provoking assignment for each of us. We all found
that we had to take each piece of the process in several steps
and revisit our answers many times over. We all took our duties
very seriously on behalf of our fellow members. Each of us
clearly felt that every one of these students was deserving
of recognition for the many contributions they had made to
their employers, their schools and their communities. Our
only regret was that we did not have more scholarship money
may ask, should you devote time and expense to organizing
a scholarship program? The rewards are many. Programs like
these recognize the employees who, every single day, help
to make your businesses a success. They help us take stock
of the caliber of our personnel. The good will this kind of
program brings is priceless and it is a wonderful way to give
a small piece back to our industry.
our work was done on the scholarship committee, mine was the
enviable task of informing the individual managers whose employees
had won the scholarships. The managers reactions were
heart-warming. They were so pleased that someone who worked
with them had been recognized. I have heard from the students
and, in some cases, their parents and I cannot begin to tell
you how very much the scholarships mean to the students and
their families. I and the Mid-States members to whom I conveyed
these thanks needed nothing else to understand why we made
the commitment to offer these awards.
to the many people who all gave of themselves to help. We
had a very successful and gratifying experience with our first
scholarship offering. I can assure you that I and all of the
state/regional NATO units who helped me are available to help
other units interested in instituting a scholarship program.
always tells me that doing something nice for someone else
is a selfish act because it always makes you feel so good.
He is so right!