The foundation annually awards scholarships to outgoing seniors in the district who are pursuing a college degree or vocational training beyond high school. This year, despite the cancellation of the scholarship award ceremony, 315 students were selected to receive 342 scholarships, according to a news release from the foundation.
“I am so thankful for all the opportunities McAuliffe has given me in my life,” said Garrett Karbs, recipient of the Christa McAuliffe Elementary Scholarship and Marcus High School senior. “It gave me a true passion for learning and an enjoyment to come to school. I am especially thankful for this scholarship now.”
Karbs plans to attend The University of Texas in Austin and study business, thanks in part to the LEF scholarship.
“This scholarship will help ease the financial burden of college and allow me to focus more on my classes,” he said.
More than 1,100 seniors from each of the five high schools in LISD applied for an LEF scholarship. Criteria for each scholarship are developed by the scholarship donor and are based on both financial need and merit.
Scholarships average between $500 and $3,000 with the largest two being the $10,000 Steve Allen Memorial Scholarship and the $20,000 Jessica Martinet Memorial Scholarship. They are established by individuals and organizations that want to not only reward outstanding LISD seniors, but also to promote study in a specific area of study. The Martinet scholarship, for instance, will be awarded to a special needs student or a student pursuing special education as a major.
“We are grateful to the donors who make all of this possible,” said Thomas White, LEF executive director. “Many great community partners have stepped forward to permanently endow a scholarship allowing us to award them every year, and we have a tremendous group of donors who give each year so that LISD seniors have the best chance to further develop academically, professionally and personally.”
To see a complete list of all announced recipients, click here.
Pam Nelson, LEF vice president for Programs and Outcomes, said that raising money for and awarding scholarships are two of the main functions of the foundation.
“We make it one of our main goals each year to reward the hard work of LISD seniors through these scholarships,” Nelson said. “From raising money to selecting each scholarship recipient, we spend a great deal of time and effort to make sure these students will be able to continue their success after they graduate.”
LEF’s mission is to build community around public education so that each student receives the best possible educational experience. By awarding student scholarships, teacher grants, and raising money for program-based initiatives, the foundation continues to support LISD and its vision to create limitless opportunity and real innovation.