With the establishment of the Wellston Alumni Scholarship Fund, the Wellston City School District in Jackson County has joined the Scioto Foundation’s UCAN Neighbors Program. The Scioto Foundation welcomes the participation of school districts in adjoining counties to this new phase of the UCAN (University/College Access Network) program and offers much of its existing services to them.
“The Wellston City School District is excited to have the opportunity to join forces with the Scioto Foundation to establish a college scholarship fund,” said Wellston School Superintendent Karen Boch. “Through our partnership, we will work to build a fund that is sustainable in order to assist our students as they begin their college careers.”
The Foundation’s UCAN program, launched in 2008, is designed to help youth plan, prepare and pay for college through strong partnerships with all Scioto County, Ohio schools and UCAN Neighbor schools, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Shawnee State University, local businesses and donors. The vision of UCAN is that one day every student from Scioto County and the adjoining counties will have the financial resources to attend the college or university of his or her choice.
The Scioto Foundation’s goals for UCAN are to increase the number of students from Scioto County and the neighboring area attending and completing college, to raise the
educational attainment levels of the community and to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Scioto County area.
To reach these goals, the Foundation created a four-point strategy: endowing school scholarship funds, helping students prepare for college through support of local school districts in establishing and/or expanding their Advanced Placement offerings and college access testing, maintaining a centralized scholarship data for Scioto County area youth, and conducting an annual awareness campaign about UCAN to create a “college-going community.”
Through the UCAN Neighbors Program, school systems will gain the advantages of transferring a scholarship to the Scioto Foundation, including permanence, accountability and professional management of assets. The Scioto Foundation becomes the school district’s partner in fundraising and completes all of the fund administration. As an incentive for Wellston to join UCAN, the Foundation has pledged matching monies of $1,000 per year for five years which the school district can combine with its own contribution to build its scholarship endowment fund.
The Scioto Foundation will also support AP Teacher Education in participating districts though educational stipends to teachers attending Shawnee State University’s Advanced Placement Summer Institute, and the Foundation will continue to offer annual $1,000 mini-grants to local schools for college preparedness activities . The funds can be used to support or offset costs incurred by students and families in taking AP, ACT, Explore, Plan or PSAT exams. The Foundation also maintains the website www.ucangotocollege.org , listing local scholarship opportunities, as well as scholarships available on a state and national basis.
The Scioto Foundation plans to continue its UCAN awareness activities throughout the school year. The annual UCAN Go to College Night, designed for students in grades 7 – 12 is tentatively scheduled for 5:30 – 7 p.m. on October 10, 2017 at the SOMC Friends Center in Portsmouth.
Joining the Scioto UCAN Neighbors Program is an easy process, according to SF Executive Director Kim Cutlip. New members are required to supply a board resolution from their district stating their intent to participate in the program, work with the Foundation staff to create a scholarship fund document, and designate a contact from the district who will participate in UCAN meetings, training programs and/or other projects. The Scioto Foundation can also help schools who join the UCAN Neighbors Program to manage other scholarships within their district.
Further information in the UCAN Neighbors Program may be obtained by contacting the Scioto Foundation at (740) 354-4612.