A successful scholarship program in Wakulla County is hoping to be reproduced in Gadsden County. Led by TCC, the long-term goal is to make it possible for all Gadsden graduates to get a free ride to college.
Going to college isn't necessarily a given for many Gadsden County students, but add in a full ride scholarship and their attitude may change.
Mark Bates, president of the TCC Foundation, says, “If they know they can go to college it really increases their retention rates and the kids go on to college.”
Bates and Jim Rodgers are helping start Gadsden LEARN, Lending Educational Assistance to Residents Now.
Sterling DuPont, superintendent of Gadsden County schools, says, “The foundation is going to provide five scholarships to each elementary school, in addition 10 to each high school, which means more of the boys and girls in who would not have been able to go can go right now.”
The future looks even brighter with fundraising goals hoping to give scholarships every eligible student that stays on top of their academics, behavior and attendance.
Jim Rodgers, a member of the TCC Foundation, says, “We want our students to know there is hope for education and careers and that they are not forgotten and that there community is behind them and we want them to succeed.”
The TCC Foundation is currently establishing a steering committee for Gadsden LEARN. Already, the program has raised $60,000.