Diakon Youth Scholarship program

Diakon Youth Scholarship Fund

Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries offers academic scholarships to current and former participants of any Diakon Child & Family Services programs including youth services, adoption and foster care, and family life counseling services.

Interested youths must complete a scholarship application and meet all requirements described on the application. A review team composed of Diakon leadership members processes each application and makes a determination as to award.

In each of the last six years (2011 through 2016) the fund, administered by the Diakon Lutheran Fund Board of Directors, has awarded approximately $70,000 in scholarships. Funds are used for college or trade-school tuition, books, and room and board. Checks are distributed to the institution or authorized vendor, such as a college-book store.

Bequests from the past aid youths today

Funds disbursed are identified as provided through either the Charles Merritt Singer or Emma Myers Duttera memorial scholarships, combined in 2009 into the overarching youth services fund.

The Charles Merritt Singer Memorial Scholarship Fund was originally given as a bequest to the Tressler Lutheran Home for Children by Vinnie B. Singer in memory of her late son, Charles Merritt Singer. She directed that the gift be used to support scholarships to schools of higher learning for children served by the home. Similarly, Emma Myers Duttera created a charitable trust in her 1957 will, with income payable to the Tressler home to be used to assist students in obtaining educational advantages outside those provided by the Tressler home.

The Diakon Lutheran Fund is the successor organization of the Tressler home (a Loysville, Perry County, Pa., orphanage founded in 1868 and closed in 1962), making it especially fitting that its board awards scholarships from funds given to the children’s home. Moreover, the youth services scholarship program aligns not only with the intent of those long-ago donors, but also with the overall mission of the children’s home—an important part of Diakon’s legacy.