1.    What’s its purpose?    

To identify inner-city-school 3rd and 4th graders who show potential for going to college and then help them get there.

2.    Where did you start and how do you help?

We started at the Martin Luther King Junior Charter School for Excellence in Springfield, Massachusetts.  Here’s what we do:

A.    We put up money for a scholarship, which is invested for the Scholars until they enroll in college.
B.    We set the criteria and the school picks the Scholars; the scholarships are awarded to the winners during a school wide assembly.
C.    We assign a mentor to follow each Scholar until enrollment in college.

3.    What does it cost you in money and time?

Money: Each scholarship is $3,000.  (We welcome contributions of any amount toward a full scholarship.)

Time: The amount of time mentors spend can be variable. Here’s what they do:
•    Help guide Scholars through academic choices of schools and curriculum and arrange academic help if they need it;
•   faq2 Keep Scholars in touch with each other and promote a sense of shared mission.
•    Encourage the older ones to help and inspire younger ones and other children to set attending college as a goal;
•    Get to know their families and supporters to develop a strong team to keep the Scholars on track.
•    Correspond with each scholar mentee at least once a year to receive latest school progress notes and contact information.

The school runs a faculty-advised Scholars’ Club, which meets 4 or 5 times per year for a variety of activities, including community service projects or other leadership activities. Mentors are invited to club activities, but the primary responsibility for the club belongs to the school staff.

Finally, the Board and the mentors host an annual picnic or social gathering for Scholars and their families and school staff. Here we get to know the families and let Scholars know we’re available to help and guide in any way we can.
faq34.    Have you been successful?

It’s too early to tell for our program. Judging from the reception of the MLK staff and the Scholars and their families, the program is enormously appreciated and is doing its job inspiring the winners as well as other children to aim toward college.

The program is modeled on a similar program started by folks we know in West Palm Beach, Florida. That one has been in operation for more than fifteen years. They’ve had enormous success.  Virtually every one of the winners is either in college or is still in school and on track for college. Some of the stories showing the effect these scholarships have on the children are truly moving.

5.    What are you asking from us?

Please join this effort.

If you can donate one scholarship, that would be wonderful. We could add another child next year. With enough support we could even start a program at another school. If you can donate less than a full scholarship, we’d welcome that too.

Beyond money, if you live near Springfield, Massachusetts, consider volunteering. CLICK HERE to learn more about volunteering.

Our friend says about the similar program he started in Florida: of all the money and time he has contributed to charitable causes, nothing else comes close for impact and effectiveness.  
We’d love to hear from you. Email us at youngscholarsfund@gmail.com
The Board of Directors: Ann and Pete Pufall, Doris and David Cohen, Carol and Bill Jolly, and  Joan Schaffer


It is never too early to envision a future...