THE LOCAL STORY
JEfferson Dollars for Scholars was founded in Jefferson Parish in 1993 by a group of local community leaders in order to make post-secondary education a priority and possibility for academically and financially deserving students in Jefferson Parish Public Schools.
THE NATIONAL STORY
Dollars for Scholars® is the signature program of Scholarship America®, an organization founded in 1958 by visionary optometrist, Dr. Irving Fradkin. He believed in the power of a dollar to make a difference in the lives of aspiring scholars without the means to pursue a college education. Dr. Fradkin envisioned people coming together in communities--each donating one dollar and more--to raise funds to award college scholarships. Armed with a grand idea and a workable plan, he reached out to his community hoping that others believed in this potential as well.
BACKSTORY ON THE POWER OF A DOLLAR
To date, Dr, Fradkin’s vision has led to the inception of 1100 chapters across the U.S. including Jefferson Dollars for Scholars.
Supporting his vision, he received his very first donations. Among these was one from none other than Eleanor Roosevelt. She included a note that read:
“I was interested to get your letter and to learn of the effort being made in your community to make your people more aware of the opportunities and advantages of a college education. I congratulate you and am happy to send you a dollar toward the effort.”
This is how our former 1st lady also became one of the first donors to make a young person’s dream of a college education come true!
Together, these chapters have raised over $3 billion dollars and have contributed to the ability to send more than 2 million students to college
The mission of Jefferson Dollars for Scholars is to expand access to educational opportunities for Jefferson Parish Public School students through scholarships and academic support.
At this time, 78.7% of students in Jefferson Parish Public Schools receive free or reduced lunch which is a federal indicator of family poverty. As a result and due to costs, many of these families and students automatically feel excluded from seeking a post-secondary education.
At Jefferson Dollars for Scholars, our goal is to break the cycle of poverty and limited educational opportunity so that all young people have the ability to succeed.
A list of our Visionary Board of Directors for 2014 will be posted soon!