HOW KC SCHOLARS STARTED THROUGH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND IS A COMMUNITY ASSET
From its beginning, KC Scholars was planned and is now implemented as a community asset! It is creating a strong college-going culture across our region and is among Kansas City's most prized and transformative programs!
Its roots are in one man’s commitment to postsecondary education as a life-changer! Ewing Marion Kauffman was an entrepreneur and humanitarian, whose innovative and long-lasting contributions have benefited millions of people in Kansas City and beyond. One of Mr. Kauffman’s visions was to ensure a postsecondary education was possible for everyone, regardless of income, age or ethnicity. The Kauffman Foundation wanted to continue this legacy and to gift to our community with a large-scale scholarship and support program that would serve many across the broad region.
KC Scholars started as a community-engaged process. Over 70 members of the regional community helped to plan KC Scholars. They served on planning committees in 2016 and 2017 and their experiences and expertise shaped program design.
As a community asset, KC Scholars a 501(c)(3) entity, resides in the community, and has a community-based Board of Directors.
KC Scholars was publicly launched on September 28, 2016. It awarded its first scholarships in May 2017. Read more about the number of Scholars and impact here.
KC Scholars has grown into a strong, recognizable community asset! It is unlike other programs nationally and is changing the lives of thousands of low- and modest-income Kansas Citians and will be transformative to our region’s workforce and economy.
KC SCHOLARS WILL POSITIVELY IMPACT THE REGION
KC Scholars was designed to create individual impact and to positively impact the Kansas City region’s economy and workforce.
KC SCHOLARS PROVIDES AN OPPORTUNITY FOR THE COMMUNITY TO DONATE AND SERVE
Designed by the community as a community asset, KC Scholars embraces the philosophy that community involvement is necessary for its success and to achieve the desired impact. Check out the many ways to become involved in KC Scholars.
Community members can donate so that more scholarships are awarded annually. 100% of donations support scholarships.
Community members can be scholarship application reviewers. Learn more.
Near every Scholar says that KC Scholars was a game-changer and that it matters a LOT.
Without the financial support from KC Scholars, most Scholars would have been challenged paying for a college education. Without KC Scholars, most students would have gone deep into debt and many others would not have attended or completed college. Listen to these Scholars share why KC Scholars matters so much.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
As a 501(c)(3) public charity, KC Scholars has a community-based board of directors.
The inaugural board of 5 began their terms in July 2017. KC Scholars will continue to expand the size of its board in future years.
President and CEO Evergy
Senior Vice President, Community Engagement and Inclusion Division, and Director of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Board Treasurer KC Scholars
Vice President and General Manager Enterprise Holdings
Chair, Kauffman Foundation (prev.) Board Chair KC Scholars
Chief Operating Officer Guadalupe Centers
Senior Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer (ret.) JE Dunn Construction Company
Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, PhD
President and CEO KC Scholars
Executive Director Mid-America Regional Council
Board Secretary KC Scholars
MEET THE KC SCHOLARS TEAM
CSA/M and Traditional Scholars Coordinator
Adult Learner Coach
Part-time Administrative and Development Assistant
Every May, KC Scholars has surprise scholarship award ceremonies at schools across the 6-county service region.
In 2019, we surprised 48 Scholars (traditional, adult learner, and college savings match) by awarding their scholarship to them at the school. Parents and families were told in advance and they – along with community donors, press, school leaders, and community members – attended the ceremonies.
At that moment, you can see lives change. Scholars are so proud and happy that they are receiving the award.
Watch Scholars being surprise awarded – this is what KC Scholars is all about.
Remember, to potentially be among those surprise awarded in May 2021 – you have to apply and be awarded a scholarship. Applications open January 1, 2021.