In Times Square

Tom Schultz

Scholarship programWatertown High School’s annual scholarship and financial aids program is just around the corner and it is promising to be one of the biggest and best ever.

Last year’s program was a “watch at home” presentation because the COVID-19 pandemic was roaring at full speed.

I was one of the presenters and it was kind of weird announcing winners to an empty high school auditorium but there was little that could be done about the pandemic. This year’s program, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 17, will allow students who will get some form of recognition along with their parents to be present. That will no doubt add to the upbeat atmosphere.

The Watertown Area Community Foundation has made its selections and the high school scholarship committee is making its this week. After that all should be ready to go for the program.

As of this writing, it appears the total value of scholarships issued locally will exceed $500,000! And, when you add up all the financial aids packages the universities offer as well as private awards, etc. the total will no doubt be valued at over $750,000.

These numbers are simply amazing and they also speak well of the people in our community who see the value of higher education and are doing their part to make it attainable for many who might not be able to do it on their own.

It seems each year someone new steps up with a scholarship program or expands an existing one and that’s also a healthy sign.

Many of the awards that will be distributed at the program have financial need as a criteria but others do not. Either way, the concept is to get these awards to the most deserving students who can and will get their undergraduate degrees and move on to careers that can change the world.

World’s richest peopleForbes Magazine’s latest issue lists the richest people in the world and it’s simply a staggering amount of money so few hold. The Forbes list has all the billionaires.

It’s interesting that the list of billionaires has seen their net worth climb dramatically in 2020 despite the global pandemic.

The number of billionaires around the world in 2021 now totals 2,755! That’s up by an incredible 660 people in just one year, and 86 percent of the billionaires are richer today than they were a year ago.

Altogether these super rich people have a net worth of $13.1 trillion, up from $8 trillion just a year ago. Of course the United States has the most billionaires at 724 but China is not far behind with 698.

So, who are the wealthiest people in the world?

Here’s a list of the top 10 and there aren’t many surprises.

The world’s wealthiest person is Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, who shows a net worth of $177 billion, up $64 billion from a year ago.

He is followed by Elon Musk, majority stockholder in Tesla and SpaceX who saw his net worth in 2021 go up like a rocket, from $35 billion to $151 billion.

Others in the top 10 are:

3. Bernard Arnault & Family, of France, which owns Tiffany among other holdings, $150 billion.

4. Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, $124 billion.

5. Mark Zukerberg, Facebook founder, $97 billion.

6. Warren Buffett, major stockholder in Berkshire Hathaway, $96 billion.

7. Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, $93 billion.

8. Larry Page co-founder of Google, $91.5 billion.

9. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, $89 billion.

10. Mukesh Ambani of India, the richest man in Asia and owner of a huge conglomerate, $84.5 billion.

It is an amazing listing of people and with a quick glance at the list you will find a lot of familiar names.

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