0313 Friend of Education award

0313 Friend of Education award

2013 Friend of Education Award winner helps fill financial aid gap

2013 Friend of Education Award winner helps fill financial aid gap

Advocate Staff Report

A nonprofit that helps make postsecondary education possible for Lincoln County students is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year – and celebrating being named the Kentucky School Boards Association’s 2013 Friend of Education.

The award was presented to the Lincoln County Educational Fund, Inc., during KSBA’s Annual Conference in Louisville and accepted by its president and co-founder, Ann Severance Booth. The award, established in 1988, recognizes an individual, business or civic organization’s commitment to public elementary and secondary education.
PHOTO: Ann Severance Booth, president of the Lincoln County Education Foundation, accepts the Friend of Education Award from KSBA President Durward Narramore.

The Lincoln County Educational Fund, Inc. provides financial aid and encouragement to students who want to pursue postsecondary education. It supports students who otherwise would not have the means to continue their education past high school. Many of them, in fact, are the first in their families to go to college.

The role of the Fund is to fill the gap for many students for whom regular financial aid and other scholarships don’t stretch quite far enough. As the Lincoln County school board noted in nominating the Fund, “Existing financial aid and scholarship programs fail to meet the needs of many who aspire to higher education.”

This academic year, the Fund is supporting 12 Lincoln County High School graduates for their freshman year; 12 sophomores, seven juniors and two seniors also currently receive financial assistance. Three recipients have gone on to graduate from college. Awards totaling $50,000 were budgeted for 2012-13 and $42,000 in financial assistance was distributed in 2011-12. Typical first-year scholarships are $1,500 with renewal years based on need.

The financial aid, which is good toward college, university or technical school, is given based on outstanding character and not grade point averages and test scores. As the nomination noted, “This program permits students with average grades to compete equally with those having higher grades.”

The Lincoln County Educational Fund, Inc., has roots in both alumni and community. It was incorporated in 2003 by a group of alumni who were concerned about the ability of deserving graduates to go to college.  Community members participate by sharing their resources in support of these students.

“Our students and our community benefit from the vision of those founding organizers and officers of the fund,” the school board and Superintendent Karen Hatter said in their nomination.

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