Sometimes a visit to a university campus is all a young person needs in order to believe they can pursue their dream of attending college . That’s the idea behind the California Dollars for Scholars 5K Walk for Education, which will be held Nov. 13 at Loyola Marymount University. Students, parents and community members from across Southern California raise money and awareness for student scholarships.
“This may be a high school student’s first time on a university campus,” said Catherine Graham, director of the Financial Aid Office at LMU. “This is an opportunity for them to think of college as a realistic goal rather than a far-off unattainable dream.”
The idea for Dollars for Scholars began with Irving Fradkin, who believed that if everyone in his hometown of Fall River, Mass., would give $1, the community would have a sizeable scholarship program. Dollars for Scholars took off from there and has grown into the multi-program Scholarship America, the nation's largest private scholarship and educational support organization. Since 1958, Dollars for Scholars and its sister programs in Scholarship America have awarded more than $2 billion in scholarships to over two million students.
“Dollars for Scholars lets students know that their hometown believes in them, that someone they don’t even know is helping to raise money for their future,” said Ann Worley, executive director of California Dollars for Scholars program. “In return, this process helps students believe in themselves more. It’s a win-win situation.”
California Dollars for Scholars is a network of community-based scholarship groups. Each group raises money for their fund, with assistance from the regional level. Then each group determines how they want to support the community, which can range from focusing on assisting individual students, one high school or a school district.
In addition to the walk, there will be a college fair that will include tours of LMU’s campus, admission counselors to speak with, and a raffle. This is the second year that LMU’s Financial Aid Office has hosted the event. Graham said that it’s a wonderful way to share the campus with potential future college students.
“Last year, I showed high school students the library and the basketball court, and we talked about the history of the university,” Graham said. “Most important, we talked about the student’s dreams and what they wanted to be when they grew up.”
To find out more about the organization, visit www.dollarsforscholars.org/.