Congresswoman Nancy Boyda did the right thing last year when she voted to prevent Congress's automatic pay increase from going into effect. She went above and beyond to do even more when she co-sponsored the bill that would have prevented it.
At the time she said:
“In my district, the median wage is still going down, so it just doesn’t seem right for Congress to take care of itself,” Boyda said. “I guess maybe it depends where you’re coming from . . . . If we get a pay raise, I will donate it to charity.” It went into effect anyway.
In a press release today, Congresswoman Boyda said she thought long and hard about what to do with the money added to her pay that she had worked to prevent, finally deciding to create a $1,500 scholarship for a 2nd District high school senior.
Full text of the press release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Nancy Boyda (Kansas Second District) has announced that she will create a scholarship fund with a $4,100 automatic Congressional raise in pay.Nancy Boyda didn't just do what was right when she voted against giving herself a pay raise. She didn't just do what's right when she sponsored the bill up for a vote. She also did what was right by given the money back to her constituents- and, even better than that- she'll help someone further their education.
Boyda said, "As the middle class struggles to get by on shrinking paychecks, it is unconscionable for Congress to vote itself a pay raise. I voted against automatic raises last year and I have cosponsored another bill (H.R. 2934) that would suspend pay raises to Members of Congress in 2008."
"I just could not, in good conscience, put this raise to personal use." said Boyda. "There are so many worthy causes in Kansas that it took long and careful consideration to decide exactly where to put this money. I ultimately decided to put it toward the education of tomorrow's Kansas leaders."
The requirements for the Representative Nancy Boyda Scholarship are:
Applicant must be a graduating senior residing in the Second District of Kansas who is planning to pursue studies in one of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields and planning to attend an accredited school in the state of Kansas.
Applications must include the following information:
1. A statement of circumstances of financial need (completed Parent Financial Analysis form).
2. An essay of no more than 500 words answering the following two questions: "What do you think should be done to encourage an interest in and the study of STEM fields?" and "Why is this your chosen area of study?"
3. Applicant should have at least a 3.0 G.P.A., and must provide verification of G.P.A. via a high school transcript or equivalent.
4. Proof of United States citizenship with a copy of a birth certificate or U.S. citizenship naturalization papers.
Procedure for selection of recipient:
1. An independent reading team of the Topeka Community Foundation will review and select the recipient of the scholarship.
2. The award is for one year and a family is eligible to receive the award one time.
3. In all other respects, these funds will be awarded without restriction to race, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation or disability.
4. The $1,500 annual scholarship will be paid to the college or university of choice and the student.
The scholarship fund will be managed by the Topeka Community Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality of life in the region by connecting donors to their philanthropic priorities as well as to the needs of the community, by increasing charitable giving and providing leadership on critical community issues. The Foundation celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. It has more than $50 million in assets and granted more than $2 million in 2007.
This was truly above and beyond the call of duty, and we hope even our Republican reads will agree that Boyda deserves credit for her actions today.