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

Avila University and KC Scholars are forming a new scholarship partnership that will benefit up to 800 low-to-modest income students in the Kansas City area. The agreement was announced at an event held Sept. 8 at the Goppert Performing Arts Center on Avila’s campus.

So excited to welcome these @BishopWard High School students to the Avila family in conjunction with @KCScholars @KCproud! #beinspired

From #cyclones to #eagles! Welcome Bishop Ward students to the Avila University family. #KCScholars 

Avila awaits your arrival on campus in 2024, BishopWard students! Congratulations to the newest @KCScholars to be awarded full ride scholarships to Avila University.

Thanksgiving and Christmas comes early for hundreds of metro students.

Avila University surprised five juniors who attend Paseo Academy Tuesday morning.

The students applied for scholarships awarded by KC Scholars, but because of an overwhelming response, were not selected.

KC Scholars hosted its first annual Scholarfest at Kauffman Stadium on August 21st. Over 500 KC Scholars and their families (1500 guests in all!!) came out to celebrate with food, entertainment, professional head shots, back to school SWAG, face painting, great raffle prizes and of course, ice cream! Representatives from all 17 Post-Secondary Network partners were on hand to meet students and answer questions. The goal of the event was to celebrate our newly awarded students and to gather with our current Scholars who are on campuses served by KC Scholars. Students were able to connect with KC Scholars staff, campus representatives, and other KC Scholars. We extend a big thank you to the 20+ KC Scholars community reviewers who volunteered throughout the event. This event was a huge success, and KC Scholars is looking forward to planning another outstanding event for 2023!

On September 21st KC Scholars hosted our annual Postsecondary Network College Fair. The event was hosted by Rockhurst University with all 17-network institutions in attendance. Over 100 2022 traditional awardees and their families had the opportunity to connect with our partner universities and learn more about their campuses. Scholars also got the opportunity to attend financial aid workshops, facilitated by K-State College Advising Core advisers.

Are you an adult looking for a life-changing opportunity to attend college? The application is open NOW for our Adult Learner Scholarship valued up to $50,000 over 5 years. Apply by November 18 for consideration in the early award cycle!

I was awarded the KC Scholars adult learner scholarship in January 2020. Initially I had many ups and downs. My first semester back to school I was finishing my prerequisites to enter into the nursing program at Penn Valley. I already had an eight-year-old daughter and was a single mother working full time at a senior living facility in Kansas City. I went to class virtually and worked nights. In my free time I would spend my weekends with my daughter. During my fall semester I was in a car accident and totaled my car. If I didn't have KC Scholars, I wouldn't have been able to get my car fixed and continue going to school. Because I had saved enough to fix my vehicle, I continued onward and was accepted into the nursing program in January of 2021. That wasn't the only struggle I had to overcome.

The fall semester after I was accepted, I found out I was pregnant and expecting a little girl. My first semester as a nursing student was going to be hard but I was faced with the decision to stay and push through or take a break and start at a later date. I prayed on it and because of the support that I had from counselors and teachers and of course my family I was able to make it through the semester. I finished my exams and delivered a healthy baby girl three weeks before class ended. I made it back in time to pass all of my final exams and got to spend the whole summer with my family preparing for this semester. Coming back this August 2022 I didn't know if I would be prepared but I know I made the right decision. Every day it is hard to struggle with studies and breastfeeding as well as clinical schedules and on-site simulations, but by organizing my calendars and reaching out to others for help I have found a way. I am determined to graduate next winter 2023. Thanks to KC Scholars, I feel more prepared than ever to make my dreams come true and become a registered nurse.

A special thank you to Hot 103 Jamz, 107.3 KC for the free PSA’s, and Tico Productions for the Spanish Translations. We appreciate you! Your generous contribution will help to further the important work of our organization.

Right now, we are all looking for ways to make a difference.

Our Scholars will racially and ethnically diversify our regional workforce. We encourage you to support our Scholars. Consider giving to provide deserving students the opportunity for a postsecondary education.

8080 Ward Parkway, Suite 402
Kansas City, MO 64114

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