Friday, September 04, 2009

How to HELP Today's High School Grads...Up Close & Personal!

I just have to tell the story of one method of helping some really-deserving kids get through college. I happen to know of this because it is from a group of graduates of my high school.

Coming out of high school there are some really good students with great plans who have little or no funding. They can borrow heavily and become debtors prior to even entering the work force.

This group of graduates from my high school in Pekin, Illinois (mostly classes of 1958 through about 1964....though they are trying now to tie to younger grads), has established a fund for scholarships. The actual donors do the judging based upon NEED plus the usual criteria of grades, plans, high school activities, etc.

The program is in its 3rd year, and successful.

WHY? Well, 1st of all the donors have the wherewithal to do so in fairly small amounts of $50 to $200 and a few more larger donors. Then, they are interested in the success of the young from "Their" high school.

My thought is....why not such a program by high school grads across the country?

In our case, the primary donors weree brought to the program by the transgressions of a U of Illinois Board which voted out "Chief Illiniwik" as the U of I mascot. This so POed the grads from my high school, many of whom went to Illinois, that they stopped donating to the university, and instead founded the scholarship program.

Let's face it. Many universities are nicely funded already. Kids coming from high school need the help....Many have little to no support, with possibly a small scholarship or two. The added money from the grads fund may just make university a possibility for them.

Give it some thought....AND talk with your high school groups.

Self-help in this country has ALWAYS surpassed any government interference (programs)!