Posted September 13, 2021
In an effort to expand our philanthropic reach this year, Fox Pest Control offered a $2,000 scholarship to a student who exemplifies our core values of building relationships in the community and helping those in need. Students submitted either a video or essay detailing a philanthropic project they were involved in over the past two years.
From April until August, we received over 60 submissions from students all over the country. Scholarship applications detailed amazing efforts from these students, ranging from mission trips, helping out during a global pandemic, providing food and gifts to those less fortunate, and everything in between. A complex grading rubric was used to select the finalist, and without this it would have been impossible to choose a winner.
We are proud to announce this year’s Fox scholarship winner was Delia Cote, a student who is attending the University of New England. Delia created the Post-It Project, a simple idea with a huge impact. Delia and her father volunteered for years at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery, and as the years went on Delia wanted to find more ways to help. She remembers saying to her dad, “I just want to give everyone a hug and let them know they’re loved and appreciated.” This prompted the Post-It Project, which started with 600 post it notes and four hours of work creating a wall of encouraging and positive messages for the community members. Above it was the simple message “Take what you need or leave one behind”. Within days nearly a quarter of the notes were replaced with new ones and it only escalated from there. Now, two years later, the Post-It Project is still running strong and helping encourage community members every day.
With the motive of letting people know that they are loved and appreciated, there are a multitude of projects that Delia could have created, so we asked her why she landed on the Post-It Project. She said, “I was a teenager and saving for college, so doing big fundraising events and activities – it wasn’t doable for me or my family. We could help, but we didn’t really have the money to be big contributors.” The Post-It project was the largest impact that she could think of on a tight budget.
Delia told us that the scholarship is huge for her because money during her college years has been tight. Eleven years ago her father had a double transplant and quintuple bypass that led to extensive medical bills. Because of this, she hasn’t been able to get a loan and has had to pay for college each semester out of her own pocket. When asked about what the scholarship means to her she said, “This is going to help me finish out this semester, which is really really great for me. I love college, and I love learning. This is what I’ve always wanted to do. Being able to continue and not having the threat of needing to drop and never go back to college again is really great.” She is studying Environmental Science and hopes to be able to continue to help people for her entire career.
When asked about granting the scholarship, Fox CEO’s Mike Romney and Bryant White said, “Delia embodies Fox’s core values, specifically those of Relationships First, Lift Where You Stand, and Excellence in the Ordinary. She used her time as a volunteer to make the biggest impact in a way that can be passed on through all of our communities. We are honored to grant her this scholarship and look forward to seeing where she takes the world as a leader of tomorrow.”
We had a lot of great scholarship submissions this year and would like to recognize our runner up, Lily Sweet King. Lily is a student at the University of Mississippi who found a different way to help her community. After she experienced a KKK march on her campus, she wanted to do something to help. She didn’t want to be the center of attention or make things about her, so she came up with a way to make a difference from behind the scenes. Based on a project she had created in high school, with permission from the school dean she created The Longest Table in fall 2019. It brought together students from all walks of life to learn from each other and discuss racial events and issues. The initial event had 400 students in attendance and has continued since, creating a safe space for students to learn and grow together.
Both Lily and Delia are shining examples of what we stand for here at Fox Pest Control. They created lasting, meaningful relationships with those around them, and found ways to lift up and strengthen their communities.