This coming December marks 25 years since a car skidded off an icy road and crashed, prematurely ending the life of Ruby Rutnik, a college senior attending American University, who was born and raised on St. John.
The following year, her family and community members rallied to honor her memory by establishing an annual college scholarship in her name. Every year since 1997, annual scholarships totaling $5,000 or more have been awarded to young women from St. John to help defray the cost of college tuition.
Keeping with its tradition, the Ruby Rutnik Scholarship Fund announced on April 9 – Ruby’s birthday – that it is once again accepting scholarship applications for the upcoming school year.
The scholarships are open to females who have lived on St. John for at least five years and plan to enroll or continue their education at an accredited college or university. Scholarship applications are available for pick up at Connections in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay or by contacting the Rutnik family directly at 693-8069. The Rutniks can also be reached by email at email@example.com.
The deadline for submission is May 28, 2021. Winners will be notified on or before June 11.
Ruby Rutnik was an outstanding softball player who pitched for the Antilles School team. For 15 years, funds for the scholarships were raised through a softball tournament held each April for girls from the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.
When the tournaments ended several years ago, the Ruby Rutnik Scholarship Fund became part of the Gifft Hill School Scholarship Endowment Fund. This was fitting because Ruby was one of the four original pre-school students of the Pine Peace School which evolved into the Gifft Hill School.
Applications for the scholarship are also available by contacting the Gifft Hill School’s Associate Head of School at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since the inception in 1997, more than $180,000 in scholarships has been awarded to Virgin Islands students.
Those wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund are kindly asked to make their checks payable to Gifft Hill School, noting “RRSF” on the bottom of the check and mailing it to GHS, P.O. Box 1657, St. John, VI 00831.
The Rutnik family thanks the community for its continued support of this source of tuition assistance for young women as they move from the small island of St. John into the wider world.