Ramona Morris used to wish for a philanthropist to come along and donate a scholarship for worthy young women at Provo High School.
The school had the Lewis-Mangum Scholarship for young men but nothing comparable for the outstanding female students.Turns out the Orem educator was waiting for herself and her friend, Beverely Nalder.
The two women are starting this year to award the Morris-Nalder Scholarship - four-year full tuition and fees at Brigham Young University - to a Provo High School senior girl. Alicia Keller was named winner of this year's scholarship.
The $8,000-scholarship will be presented annually to a girl who fits Morris and Nalder's picture of a service-oriented, well-rounded and ideal young woman.
"Her grade-point average will likely be pretty high, but we're not focusing on the GPA in itself," said Morris. "Probably 3.5 and above will be what we expect.
"We're looking for someone who's contributed to their community or their church in an outstanding way. We'd like them to have been involved in student government, music, drama, 4-H, home economics, clubs."
School officials will invite 15 to 20 young women to compete.
"We'll interview the final five," Morris said.
Morris and Nalder hope to inspire others to set up scholarship programs as they have.
"We're both educators. We're not wealthy. We don't have a lot of money, but we felt we could do this," said Morris. "I think there are others out there who could do it, too."
During the years the two women counseled students, each was struck by the needs.
"Many in our area, coming from large families, need a little boost."
Morris worked for 22 years at Provo High School, where she was the director of counseling. Nalder worked 27 years in Brigham Young University's counseling department. Each retired in 1991.
"One of the things always very noticeable to me was the fact that in terms of the more inclusive scholarships, the best were for boys. I always hoped some philanthropist would come along.
"Well, that didn't happen while I was there," said Morris. "When I decided to try it myself, it wasn't possible to do it alone, but Beverely was quite willing to help do it with me."
The two women approached BYU and talked with Orrin Olsen at the BYU Development Office. Olsen talked the women through the process and legalities.
Morris said actually putting a scholarship program into place isn't difficult.
"It's tax-deductible," said Nalder. "A great tax write-off. I think Provo High or any school would welcome it."
Morris and Nalder are excited about meeting the first recipient and hope, over the years, to see a little "club" of adopted daughters emerge from their effort.
"We think it will be very worthwhile," said Morris.