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The Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship

$15,000 Scholarship Award


In early 2009, the tragic death of Jesse Klump cast a pall over the entire community of Snow Hill, Maryland. Jesse was a fine scholar, a gifted athlete and a natural leader whose growth into manhood many in Snow Hill were proud to watch. Beyond his grades or his achievements on the track or the tennis court, however, Jesse had already demonstrated maturity beyond his years and had, by the strength of his character, inspired his peers (and some of us who are a lot older than his peers) to respect and emulate him.

Within days of her loss, Jesse’s Mom, Kim Klump, opened a bank account in the name of the Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship Fund. The criterium for selection was established: A candidate for the scholarship should have demonstrated a willingness to help others, with no thought of reward or recognition, the truest definition of altruism. Just like Jesse.


Students do not apply for the scholarship in the normal sense.  They are nominated by members of their community without the knowledge or participation of the student. Participation by the nominee in the nomination process renders that student ineligible.

To be eligible for nomination, students must be members of the current year’s graduating class of Snow Hill High School, with plans to continue their educations at any credentialed institution of higher learning. Studying at a college or university is not a requirement. A technical or trade school is acceptable, as long as the institution is recognized by a governing body like a trade union or a state school accreditation program. Nominations must be made no later than April 15th of the student’s senior year at Snow Hill High School.


The Jesse Klump Memorial Scholarship offers financial support for up to four years. The 2020 rate is $3,750 per year, or a total commitment to the student of $15,000. The Fund will pay the school directly upon the presentation of an invoice from the school. In order to qualify for each succeeding year, the student must write to the President of the Fund and describe the activities in which the student participated, the everyday events that demonstrate the level of character and altruism that got the student selected in the first place. The student must retain a grade point average sufficient to remain enrolled.


The most important criteria by which we choose our annual scholarship winner is that the young person demonstrates a willingness to put others ahead of himself or herself and is of good character. Past scholars have been mentors and tutors, have taught Sunday School, volunteered with local non-profits and are known among their peers and the adults in their lives as caring, and compassionate people. We like to say that our scholars want to use their educations to “make the world a better place.”

Accompanying this form with evidence, anecdotal or otherwise, of the student’s character, personal references, and details about the student’s life both inside and outside of school is encouraged.  Our students stand out by their everyday acts of kindness, such as holding doors, helping a fellow student understand the subject matter, or helping a student carry his things down a crowded hallway.  We want to hear the stories of kind acts for which the student expected no reward or recognition – the daily acts that really made an impression on you. These stories are key to the student’s likelihood of selection. Without them the student’s chances of being chosen are greatly reduced.

Examples: One past scholar, without having to be asked, voluntarily took care of a neighbor’s house and lawn while she was recovering from surgery, putting her needs above his schedule.  Another, upon seeing a Hispanic family at a table in a local restaurant having difficulty placing their order, left her table without being prompted to act as translator.  These are the stories we want to hear, and if your nominee is worthy, going the extra mile to learn the stories to pass them on with this nomination will make the difference. We accept multiple nominations from different nominators for the same student, as that tells us much about the student as a whole person. Students must not participate in the nominating process, and any promotion by a student on his or her behalf will render that student ineligible. We want this award to be a complete SURPRISE to the student.  Please do not discuss this nomination with the student you are considering.

How To Make A Nomination

Begin by opening the Scholarship Nomination Form. It must be received no later than April 15, 2020. Letters of support from those, other than the nominator, are highly encouraged, and can be included as attachments to the form. Without those anecdotes of instances of compassion and kindness that someone observed and is willing to report, it is nearly impossible for the student to be selected.  We cannot emphasize the importance of this enough.