Friends of SOTA Scholarships

As part of its longstanding mission to provide financial support and guidance to promote the academic, artistic and humanistic success of School of the Arts’ students, Friends of SOTA offers a number of scholarship opportunities annually to graduating seniors.

Students who are interested in applying for these scholarships must meet scholarship eligibility requirements and provide a complete application package.  Eligibility requirements and full details can be obtained by clicking on the scholarship name in the table below.

The general Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form is required for each of these scholarships.  The form is available here.  If you meet the qualifications, you may elect to be considered for up to three of the scholarships below, though only ONE scholarship will be awarded per student.

The full scholarship application package – including scholarship application form, essays, letter(s) of recommendation, and copies of college acceptance letters and financial aid award notifications – must be turned in to your counselor by May 1st.  If you apply for multiple scholarships, please check the essay and letter(s) of recommendation information carefully to ensure that you complete all requirements for the scholarships that you are applying for.  Only one copy of the application form and college info is necessary, even if you apply for more than one scholarship.

Scholarship awards will be determined by June 1st, and winners will be notified by their counselors.  All awards will be distributed at the SOTA awards ceremony in June.

In memory of Lorie Dengler Dewey, School of the Arts’ beloved Drama teacher.

Lorie Dewey Drama Teacher

For more than twenty-five years, Mrs. Dewey’s devotion to SOTA students embodied its mission of academic, artistic and humanistic success. Her sparkling talent, generosity of spirit, creative energy, and kindness made SOTA a better place. She was a gifted educator who spent a lifetime leading by example and encouraging students to dream big.

Today, her legacy lives on in the stellar Drama program that she lovingly nurtured. Established in her honor, The Lorie Dengler Dewey Memorial Scholarship recognizes a graduating senior who enthusiastically participated in the Theatrical Arts.

Friends of SOTA Scholarships

Scholarship NameAmountOpen to
Allen Memorial Performing Scholarship$2500 total over 4 yearsAny major at SOTA:  Students with financial need entering college to study the performing arts (music/vocal, dance, drama, or theatre technology).  Minimum GPA=2.5
Bellas Artes Dance Scholarship$500SOTA dance students with financial need who excel in dance and will continue to study dance in college.  Minimum GPA=2.5
Margarette Douyon STEM Scholarship$500Any major SOTA graduates pursuing post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.  Minimum GPA=2.5
Lorie Dewey Memorial Scholarship$500Any major at SOTA:  Applicant must have participated in a SOTA theatre arts production in any capacity (as an actor, tech crew, musician, poster design, production assistant, etc.) during their time at SOTA
Creative Writing Scholarship$500Outstanding Creative Writing student, regardless of what they pursue in college.  Minimum GPA=2.5
SOTA Alumni Scholarship$500Any major at SOTA:  Applicant must be entering a college, university or institute to study the arts (drama, dance, music or vocal arts, performing arts, visual arts, creative writing, technical arts).  Minimum GPA=2.5
Friends of SOTA Academic Excellence Award$500Any major at SOTA, any field of study in college or further education program:  SOTA student demonstrating academic excellence (GPA 3.75 or higher) and commitment to learning.  Minimum GPA=3.75
Friends of SOTA Artistic Excellence Award$500Any major at SOTA, any field of study in college or further education program:  SOTA student demonstrating artistic excellence and commitment to the arts.  Minimum GPA=2.5
Friends of SOTA Humanistic Excellence Award$500Any major at SOTA, any field of study in college or further education program:  SOTA student demonstrating strong leadership skills and a commitment to community service.  Minimum GPA=2.5
Friends of SOTA Dream Award$500Any major at SOTA, any field of study (including gap year programs):  SOTA student demonstrating commitment toward achieving a strongly held personal goal or dream.

Allen Memorial Performing Arts Scholarship
in memory of Susan, Bud and Grace Allen

This scholarship fund was endowed to Friends of School of the Arts by Roberta (Bobbie) Allen, the daughter of Grace & Bud Allen, and Betsy A. Wilson, granddaughter of Grace & Bud Allen, in January of 2012. The fund will provide scholarships to needy and talented SOTA students entering college to study the performing arts (music/vocals, dance, drama, or theatre technology).   This follows in Bud & Grace Allen’s tradition of supporting high school students with financial need who excel in the performing arts.

The amount of the scholarship award is $2500, which will be paid as $1000 in the first year plus 3 payments of $500 at the start of each additional academic year.  Proof of continued enrollment and academic success (maintaining a minimum college GPA of 2.5) will be required to obtain all 4 payments.

Allen Memorial Performing Arts Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the School of the Arts.
  • Applicant must be entering a college or university to study the performing arts (music/vocals, dance, drama, theatre technology).
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need.
  • Applicant must possess a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Allen Memorial Performing Arts Scholarship Application and Selection Process:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of SOTA General Scholarship Application form
  • Letter of acceptance to an accredited college or university.
  • TWO letters of recommendation, one from a SOTA arts teacher and one from your counselor.  You may submit additional recommendation letters from others who are familiar with your artistic achievement.
  • Official high school transcript.
  • Senior mid-year grade report.
  • Financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill.
  • Personal Statement:  Please answer these questions for the selection committee (submissions must be typed):
    • How has SOTA shaped your decision to pursue a career in the arts
    • Where would you like to be in 5 years?
    • How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals?
    • How can you give back to the SOTA community once you become an arts professional?

Allen Memorial Award Notification and Expectations of the Scholarship Recipient:

Friends of School of the Arts will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.   Award notification will be sent by June 1.  The initial award check will be presented at the SOTA awards ceremony in June.

The winner will furnish a grade report and proof of continued enrollment to Friends of School of the Arts at 45 Prince Street, Rochester, NY 14607 in June of each year.  A scholarship check will be mailed to the student in August of each year.    It is the recipient’s responsibility to send the required documents to Friends of SOTA each year to renew the scholarship and to notify Friends of SOTA if there are changes to his/her contact information.


Bellas Artes Dance Scholarship  

This scholarship fund was established to support high school students with financial need who excel in dance and will continue to study dance in college.

ONE $500 scholarship is awarded each year.

Bellas Artes Dance Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the School of the Arts.
  • Applicant must be entering a college or university to study dance.
  • Applicant must demonstrate financial need.
  • Applicant must possess a minimum grade point average of 2.5.

Bellas Artes Dance Scholarship Application and Selection Process:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application Letter of acceptance to an accredited college or university.
  • TWO letters of recommendation, one from a SOTA art teacher and one from your counselor.  You may submit additional recommendation letters from others who are familiar with your artistic achievement.
  • Official high school transcript.
  • Senior mid-year grade report.
  • Financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill.
  • Personal Statement:  Please answer these questions for the selection committee (submissions must be typed):
    • How has SOTA shaped your decision to pursue a career in dance?
    • Where would you like to be in 5 years?
    • How will this scholarship help you achieve your goals?
    • How can you give back to the SOTA community once you become an arts professional?

Award Notification:

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.   Award notification will be sent by June 1.  The award check will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Margarette Douyon STEM Scholarship

Established in 2014 in memory of beloved science teacher Margarette Douyon.

This fund will recognize and provide financial support to School of the Arts graduates pursuing post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

ONE $500 scholarship is awarded each year.

Margarette Douyon STEM Scholarship Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the School of the Arts
  • Applicant must possess a 2.5 grade point average or better
  • Applicant must be entering a college, university or institute to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

Margarette Douyon STEM Scholarship Selection Criteria:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college or university
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill
  • Attach a personal statement about your future educational and/or career goals and how SOTA assisted you in pursuing such goals.

Award Notification:

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Lorie Dewey Memorial Scholarship

Established in 2018 in memory of beloved theatre arts teacher Lorie Dengler Dewey.

Mrs. Dewey devoted a lifetime to leading by example… teaching, caring for, caring about, and encouraging students to dream big. This scholarship is open to any SOTA senior who was profoundly impacted by participation in SOTA theatre arts.

ONE $500 scholarship is awarded each year.

Lorie Dewey Memorial Scholarship Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the School of the Arts
  • Applicant must have participated in a SOTA theatre production in any capacity (actor, musician, tech crew, poster designer, production assistant, etc.) during their time at SOTA

Lorie Dewey Memorial Scholarship Selection Criteria:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college or university
  • Submit at least one letter of recommendation from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill
  • Attach a personal statement about participating in a SOTA theatre arts production had a significant impact on your life.  Please specify the production that you participated in, your role, what you learned or experienced, and how this experience impacted you.

Award Notification:

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Creative Writing Scholarship

Established in 2015 by an anonymous donor, the SOTA Creative Writing Scholarship is awarded each year to an outstanding Creative Writing student, regardless of what they pursue in college.  Preference will be given to students who intend to pursue a field related to writing, including English, writing, journalism, filmmaking, comparative literature, or a related field.

ONE $500 scholarship is awarded each year.

Creative Writing Scholarship Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the SOTA Creative Writing program
  • Applicant must possess a 2.5 grade point average or better
  • Applicant may be entering college to study in any field, though preference may be given to students entering a writing-related field.

Creative Writing Scholarship Selection Criteria:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college or university
  • Submit one letter of recommendation from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill
  • Attach a personal statement about your future educational and/or career goals and how your SOTA Creative Writing experience will assist you in pursuing such goals.

Award Notification:

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Friends of School of the Arts
Alumni Scholarship

Established in June 2008 as a standing committee within the Friends of School of the Arts Board, the Alumni Committee is a group of professional alumni who are committed to SOTA students past and present.  Our goal is to heighten awareness within the Rochester community and beyond of the achievements, humanitarian acts and current endeavors of SOTA Alumni.  We want to serve as mentors and role models for the existing student body.

The Friends of SOTA Alumni Committee has established a scholarship fund to support students continuing their arts education post high school. This fund will recognize and provide financial support to School of the Arts graduates pursuing post-secondary education in the arts.

There is one annual award.  This year, the award is $500.

SOTA Alumni Scholarship Eligibility Criteria:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior from the School of the Arts
  • Applicant must possess a 2.5 grade point average or better
  • Applicant must be entering a college, university or institute to study the arts (drama, dance, music/vocals, performing arts, creative writing, technical arts)

SOTA Alumni Scholarship Application and Selection Process:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application
  • Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college or university
  • Submit at least one letter of recommendation from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill
  • Attach a type written, 500 word essay on the following topic:  Please describe your future educational and/or career goals and how your experiences at SOTA will help you achieve these goals

Award Notification

Friends of School of the Arts Alumni Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Friends of School of the Arts
Academic, Artistic and Humanistic Excellence Awards

These three awards were initiated in 2015 as a way of recognizing SOTA students who exemplify the SOTA mission of success – academic, artistic and humanistic.   These awards are open to SOTA students in any major who are going on to pursue further education in any field, regardless of financial need.  We are looking for students whose in-school performance and extra-curricular activities demonstrate these characteristics through sustained passion for learning, for excellence in artistic expression or for dedication to leadership and community service.

THREE $500 scholarships are awarded each year.

Academic, Artistic and Humanistic Excellence Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior, any major
  • Applicant must possess a 2.5 grade point average or better
  • Applicant may be entering any further education program

Academic, Artistic and Humanistic Excellence Selection Criteria:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application
  • Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college, university or further education program
  • Submit TWO letters of recommendation, one from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator and one from an extracurricular activity or from someone close to you who can vouch for your character and commitment
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill
  • Attach a personal statement about your future educational and/or career goals and how your experiences at SOTA will help you achieve these goals.

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.


Friends of School of the Arts
Dream Award

This award was established in 2016 as a way of recognizing SOTA students who demonstrate commitment in pursuit of a strongly held personal goal or dream.   These awards are open to SOTA students in any major who intend to pursue their dream, including participation in gap year program.  Financial need is not required, but students with financial need may receive preference.  We are looking for a student who strives for success, who learns from failure, and whose personal passions, work ethic, and extra-curricular activities demonstrate a personal commitment to achieving his or her dreams.

ONE $500 scholarship is awarded each year.

Dream Award Eligibility:

  • Applicant must be a graduating senior, any major
  • No minimum GPA requirement
  • Applicant may be entering any further education program, including gap year programs

Dream Award Selection Criteria:

Complete the Friends of SOTA Scholarship Application Form and submit it to your counselor along with the following supporting documents on or before MAY 1st:

  • Complete Friends of School of the Arts General Scholarship Application
  • Submit a letter of acceptance into an accredited college, university or further education program or a detailed gap year plan
  • Submit TWO letters of recommendation, one from a SOTA teacher, counselor, or administrator and one from an extracurricular activity or from someone close to you who can vouch for your character and commitment
  • Submit an official high school transcript
  • Submit a senior mid-year grade report
  • Submit financial aid award letter and/or tuition bill (if applicable)
  • Attach a personal statement about your future educational, career and/or life goals and how your experiences at SOTA will help you achieve these goals.

Award Notification:

Friends of School of the Arts Scholarship Committee will administer the scholarship on behalf of the student.  Candidates will be notified by June 1.  The award will be presented at the SOTA Awards Ceremony in June.