For DonorsFor Applicants

Brian Tahair Life of Gratitude Memorial Scholarship

1 winner$500
Application Deadline
Apr 5, 2025
Winners Announced
May 5, 2025
Education Level
High School, Undergraduate
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
Education Level:
High school senior or undergraduate
Volunteering or community service

Brian Tahair was rich in heart and soul. He did small things with great love.

Brian’s insights and experiences were a valuable source of inspiration and motivation to others. He passed away unexpectedly in September 2022, having lived life as a thoughtful, bold, kind, courageous, and determined person. To honor the memory and legacy of Brian Tahair, the Brian Tahair Life of Gratitude Memorial Scholarship will award an individual residing in Vermont who shares Brian’s core values. Brian knew that nothing was impossible and this scholarship will keep his passionate spirit alive.

High school seniors and undergraduate students in Vermont are eligible to apply if they have volunteer or community service experience. To apply, write about how you spread love and kindness in your everyday life.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published June 7, 2024
Essay Topic

Please demonstrate your passion to create a better world. How do you spread love and sprinkle kindness in the world throughout your day-to-day life?

400–600 words

Winning Application

Gracie Solomon
Essex High SchoolEssex, VT
One year at summer camp, a counselor told me something profound that had stuck with her. A stranger had approached her while traveling in Europe and said a few simple words, "Relationships and Experiences. That's it." This message touched me. It felt like the forever foggy meaning of life had just been revealed like the wipe of a mirror after a hot shower. The way that this stranger impacted her, had allowed her to impact me, which has allowed me to impact others- maybe even the person reading this essay now. This is the way I believe individuals can create positive change. I feel strongly that love is central to everything in the world. It is what humans search for, and it is something every human is capable of giving. Applying the inter-continental ripple effect that my counselor proved to me, I believe that every person has the ability to spread love across the world. A compliment to someone passing by, a caring discussion with a friend, a gift to a stranger, support to someone in need, or any touch of kindness, has the capacity to expand far beyond your reach. This mindset of small acts impacting society as a whole can provide the sense of unity that the world is in need of. Through middle school, I participated in Anti Defamation Leauge workshops, an activism retreat with a local non-profit, I was on the board of directors for the teen-led non-profit at my karate dojo, and all the while had the freedom to volunteer as often as I was able- which I loved. I look forward to returning to more organized community service in college. With commitments like track, work, homework, and dance requiring more of my time through high school, I haven't been able to volunteer as often as I would've liked. But I've found my own ways to leave impacts on my community. I love to bring joy through performance. Dance, orchestra, and choir have all given me countless opportunities to share my artistic passions with the community. But what is most important to me is the outlook that every interaction, no matter how tiny, is an opportunity to spread love. When a person is upset, feeling down, or even being rude, I know that these are the times when kindness can have the most impact. Simple gestures like prompting conversation, offering a snack, or even a simple smile, can truly resonate with someone. Like Brian, I know that anything is possible. On a drive home with my dad around age 10, I remember telling him, "I think we can do anything we want to as long as someone helps show us how." He likely heard a cheesy statement and brushed it off with some sort of "Sure, sweetie!" But to this day, I don't think he understood the world I felt I had unlocked through that statement. With a little guidance from relationships combined with enough experience, I believe that humans can do anything. Through every ounce of love that's spread, I know I am capable of creating a better world; And I hope to always inspire others to feel the same.
Jordan Beloin
Adirondack Community CollegeJay, VT
All my life I was always a part of community service that benefited my community. When I was only six years old, I was an altar server at Church, then I would help my Pepere deliver collected food shelf for those in need. We participate and volunteer for many community events like cleaning up the Jay Rec Trail, participating in Green Up Day, cleaning garbage on the local Vermont Association of Snow Travels trails system and our private road. My family helps out our local snowmobiling group, Country Riders, because we own about three miles of trail that we let them use, by picking up trail markers and picking up garbage. We used our equipment to help them last year by rebuilding a bridge that was not safe for riders, and we made improvements to the trail. In September of this year, we replaced a gate using our equipment to help out. Furthermore, when I was in 7th grade, my brother and I helped the Jay Focus Group with a slide show that they used to benefit our community in a Rotary Club competition. They didn't win, but we had fun meeting people and putting that together for them. Once in high school, I joined the band and a Club called Future Farmers of America (FFA). In band we often get invited to perform for the football team, Veterans or community events. In the FFA club, we volunteered for area farmers and brought elementary school students on farm trips to apple orchards, dairy farms or logging operations. I’ve been taught that doing good in life is good for your community because your work will not only benefit yourself but others in the long run. Whenever you help someone, you better the community. I love my community and want it to be the best that it can be. If everyone chips in a little, the world will be a better place. My mother is a first-generation graduate student raised on a rural dairy farm. My dad not only works as a computer tech and repair, but has created an environment where we have been able to make our homestead a profitable business by starting and expanding a maple business. We work hard as a family on our property to make a viable sugaring business. I know what it takes to work hard for what we have. When I am not needed on our homestead, I have had three part-time jobs to make money for things we need, and recently have gotten a job at our local restaurant. We live within our means, yet with Mom working at a non- profit private school and daycare and dad’s hours getting cut due to Covid that’s slowly coming back, his job is not where it used to be, managing a business, we are need of a little assistance. My brother is one year ahead of me in college as well. This year my family’s expected contribution according to FAFSA was $3376. Therefore, with the increasing tuition this year, I am facing more challenges in financial need. I do not want finances to stand in the way of my dream of becoming a chef. Awarding this scholarship would further motivate me to pursue academic excellence in my field. I promise to work hard in my studies and contribute back to the community with my service. I will represent your organization well during my years in college and beyond. Your scholarship will help me achieve my goal. Thank you in advance for your consideration.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is Apr 5, 2025. Winners will be announced on May 5, 2025.