LOUISVILLE, KY (June 21, 2012) -- Metro Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Jefferson County Public Schools Superintendant Dr. Donna Hargens join the Rotary Club of Louisville today to announce a first-of-its-kind college scholarship program to benefit Louisville high school students. Freshmen at Western High School this fall will be promised a full scholarship to Jefferson Community & Technical College, if they meet certain criteria through their senior year.
The Louisville Rotary Promise Scholarship announcement will be made during a Rotary Club of Louisville meeting at Noon Thursday at the Galt House West, Archibald Room, Third Floor. Rotary will present a check to JCTC President Tony Newberry for $250,000, bringing fund-raising to an important goal, $1 million, allowing the program to makes its first promises. “To celebrate our club’s 100 years of service, our members said that helping to educate our young people was most beneficial to the students and to the future of our community,” said incoming Rotary president Stuart Alexander. “Our goal was to create a program that motivates students to go to college by eliminating a critical barrier, the cost of tuition.”
The Rotary Club of Louisville has been raising money for the scholarship since late 2010. Each dollar raised by members is matched privately by a Rotarian, then matched again by the Kentucky Community & Technical College System, effectively turning each dollar donated into $4. Rotary’s goal is to raise $2 million, then add matching dollars, and extend the program to four high schools. The money is held in an endowment. The scholarship program is directed at enhancing the college-going culture in high schools that are working to improve student interest and enrollment in post-secondary education. Western was selected as the first Rotary Promise school, in part, because of its existing Early College partnership with JCTC, where students take college level coursework in high school and earn college credit. To qualify for the scholarship, graduates must have a 2.5 or higher GPA, high school attendance of at least 90 percent and no major disciplinary records.
“The generous members of the Rotary Club of Louisville are showing our students that this community believes in and is fully invested in their success,” said JCPS Superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens. “Our mission is to ensure that all JCPS students graduate prepared to reach their full potential and contribute to our society throughout life, and this extraordinary promise gives students the means to make that a reality.” The Rotary Club of Louisville already annually gives more than 60 college scholarships. The Louisville Rotary Promise Scholarship supports the efforts of 55,000 Degrees to increase the number of area residents with college degrees.
The Club will mark its 100th anniversary on July 21 with a celebration and fund-raiser from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. at The Ice House, 217 E. Main Street. The event will feature hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and roof top dancing. Tickets, $60, are available by contacting Rotary Club of Louisville and will benefit the Louisville Rotary Promise Scholarship.