The Natick-based Middlesex Savings Charitable Foundation is offering scholarships for area high school students planning to attend a four-year college. The $5,000 A. James Lavoie Scholarship Essay Contest asks applicants to answer the question, “If you could do one thing to improve the quality of life in your community, what would you do and how would you do it?” Applicants must attend one of 30 local public, charter, or vocational schools listed on the application; demonstrate financial need; and be active in their communities. In addition, the foundation will award $1,000 scholarships to students selected by a scholarship selection committee. To apply or get more information, visit www.middlesexbank.com/mscf. The application deadline is March 21.