Posted by: charityinfo | January 23, 2012

A Doctor’s Idea

In 1958 Dr. Irving Fradkin had an idea, if every person in his community simply donated a dollar to an education fund, there would be enough money to help almost every student in the community go to college. This was a simple yet insightful idea of this Optometrist from Fall River, Massachusetts.

Through the determined pursuit of his idea, Scholarship America came into being. From the original Dollars for Scholars chapter he founded in his community, now there are about 1,100 chapters involving 3,500 communities across the whole stretch of America.   Dr. Fradkin has continued to work for over 50 years to help send students to college.

Now over 1.7 million students through $2.5 billion of funding have been assisted by this scholarship program. This national organization is presently headed by Lauren A. Segal and has embarked on a mission to have 750,000 students complete post secondary education by 2025.  It is America’s largest non-profit, private scholarship and support organization, is highly regarded and has been bestowed many awards.

Scholarship America is organized around three major programs. The first is Dollars for Scholars. The 1,100 chapters in 3,500 communities across the country help raise funds for college students.  It is also possible to donate online and they welcome volunteer help.  There are also partnerships with participating universities and technical schools to make the most out of the scholarships.

The second program is Dreamkeepers; aptly named to keep the dream alive. One of the reasons why college students drop out of school is due to unexpected short-term financial emergencies. Hence this program provides grants usually averaging $523. This fund was started by Lumina Foundation and run by Scholarship America. Walmart Foundation has also joined this program.

With 50 years of scholarship program experience the third program the organization runs is Scholarship Management Services. Those who have scholarship programs in mind can have Scholarship America run their scholarships for them. They have the expertise to help run an effective scholarship program.

This charity organization works hard following their credo, “because college doesn’t happen by chance”.


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