KC Scholars announces first-ever scholarship recipients

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

27 Lee’s Summit R-7 students to receive college funding

KC Scholars, a new scholarship and college savings match program, announced its first-ever scholarship recipients, 77 percent of whom will be first-generation college students.

A total 27 of the 608 metro-area scholarship recipients are from the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District. Recipients come from 74 high schools in the six-county Kansas City region: Wyandotte and Johnson Counties in Kansas and Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri.

The program, developed with input from 70 Kansas City community partners and incubated out of the Kauffman Foundation, aims to help low- and modest-income students, as well as adult learners, finance and complete a college education. Among all first-year scholarship recipients, 83 percent have an estimated family contribution to college of $4,000 or less.

Lee’s Summit High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarships, which are up to $10,000 per year, are Kaylee Bake, Andrew Collins, Jayci Goodwin, Nataly Mallma, Lauren Eason and Julie Bussen.

Lee’s Summit High School freshmen receiving the college savings account scholarships are Nicole Jacobsen, Jayda Edgar, Daniella Archdekin, Lorenzo Turney, Alyssa Harmon, Talli Cannon, Nickolas Hammond, Brittney Nino, Luke Michel, Hailee Howard, Aubriana Duvall, Sydnee McDonald, Felix Anudike, Hannah Hukriede, Violet Esquivel, Shawn Oldham, Megan Cross and Eghosasere Ogbevoen.

Lee’s Summit West High School juniors receiving the traditional scholarship s are Conner Berens, Emiline Stewart and Charles Jones.

“KC Scholars has achieved more than we could have hoped for in its first year to help low- and modest-income students and adult learners in our community realize their dreams of college,” says Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, executive director of KC Scholars. “We are proud to share in our recipients’ excitement as they take this important step in continuing their education.”

KC Scholars is a true community collaboration, driven by the belief that all students – regardless of income, age or ethnicity – deserve an opportunity to earn a college education. With the help of 117 community scholarship application reviewers who span five generations, KC Scholars is able to award the following in 2017:

»   285 Traditional Scholarships: awarded to students currently enrolled in 11th grade. Awardees will receive up to $10,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years.

»   91 Adult Learner Scholarships: awarded to adults ages 24 and older who have previously earned at least 12 college credits but did not receive a postsecondary degree. Awardees will receive up to $5,000 per year, paid directly to the college, renewable up to five years. 


»   70 College Savings Match and Incentive Scholarships: awarded to ninth-graders for whom a 529 college savings account will be set up and seeded with $50, and who are also eligible for a 4:1 match on savings, up to $7,000.

»   An additional 162 awardees will have a 529 college savings account, seeded with $50, set up in their name.

“KC Scholars is helping to build a college-educated workforce in Kansas City,” says Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City and KC Scholars Implementation Committee member. “It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished in the first year of this program. We are already working to expand donor support and community involvement so that we can continue KC Scholars for generations to come.”

For more information about KC Scholars and to remain abreast of next year’s application cycle, visit www.kcscholars.org.

About KC Scholars

Kansas City Scholars (“KC Scholars”) is a scholarship and college savings match program, with the mission to increase postsecondary attainment in the greater Kansas City metro area. KC Scholars provides three types of scholarships – Traditional, Adult Learner and College Savings Match – to low- and modest-income youth and adults in Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte (MO), Johnson and Wyandotte (KS) counties. KC Scholars is a community-driven initiative, supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. For more information, visit kcscholars.org and follow KC Scholars on Twitter and Facebook.

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