It has been a great couple of months at KC Scholars! We are so blessed to have such an amazing growing team passionate about our mission, and we have many things for which to be grateful for. Last month, we received a generous grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Board of Trustees to fund the next three years and will cover tuition for short-term career training programs for adults. The new KC Scholars program will provide the opportunity for adults to secure jobs that pay $45,000 to $85,000, in high-demand industries, in less than a year.
KC Scholars knows how to support low- and moderate- income individuals to earn college degrees, and we have awarded funding to over 6,000 scholars who have achieved extraordinary results, including a persistence rate of over 90%. The KC Scholars team is utilizing what they have learned over the last six years to reach thousands of additional adult’s secure careers by 2032.
We are also thankful for our partnerships with KC Royals and Royals Charities. Two events at Kauffman Stadium brought over 2,000 of our scholars and their family members together for memorable celebrations. I am also thrilled that we have adjusted the Adult Learner Scholarship by reducing the age requirement down from age 24 to 18 and increased the amount of this scholarship from $25,000 to $50,000 per scholar. It’s powerful to think about all that these and other advancements are going to mean for Kansas Citians.
Additionally, we are proud of the strides the team has made with the new KC Talent Network wrap around and workforce development program for adults. We already have 169 scholars enrolled in training programs that will lead to better jobs! In addition to exceptional professional skills training in high demand, high paying jobs, over the next decade, the new program will cover the costs to train, credential, and help thousands of people secure careers with high earning potential, with a focus on developing a racially diverse workforce. The new program is designed to empower adults 18 years and older to take control of their future by getting trained in a high-demand career in 12 months or less. KC Scholars will pair adult learners with a coach to explore career possibilities; help them enroll in an established, approved training program in high-demand areas; and support them through the first year of their employment to ensure their success. In addition, our coaches will work with our adult learners to ensure they find support for affordable childcare and reliable transportation, two often-cited barriers to successful completion of education and career training.
Finally, KC Scholars and Avila University announced a $130 million partnership to provide full scholarships to 100 low- and modest-income students in each of the eight cohorts spanning the 2023-24 term through the 2031-32 term! That's a total of 800 scholarships. As part of the agreement, Avila University has committed to investing $110 million dollars over eight years. KC Scholars will invest $20 million dollars over the same period.
This agreement is going to transform KC Scholars and our communities’ lives. When we talk about creating generational impact, we’re talking about something huge at KC Scholars! Something that will have a profound impact on the lives of many generations to come. We’re talking about breaking cycles and systems and helping to elevate our students in profound ways. We are so proud to be a part of this movement!
Our six-year history is evidence that KC Scholars has bold shoes to fill. Join our movement and together we will be #kcproud.
-Earl Martin Phalen