Webb Scholarship Endowment Presentation

 

Webb Elementary Scholarship Program

sponsored by

The Rotary Club of Arlington, TX

 

Background :  Webb School is a Title 1, K-6 school in Arlington, Texas.  Over 94% of the students have families or guardians at or below poverty level.  Many of the family members or guardians have been homeless, and/or are currently incarcerated or other problems.  Currently, about 90% of the students are Hispanic.  Yearly, about 90 of the students finish Webb Elementary School.  About 30 will graduate from high school.  Those starting college will number approximately 20.  Currently, probably two or three of these 20 students will graduate from college.  Nationally, the figure for all Hispanics finishing college is around 11%.   The Webb students finishing college would be expected to be below the national average because Webb students are poorer than average Hispanics, and more are first generation US citizens.

 

Current Scholarship Program :  The Rotary/Webb School Scholarship Program is designed to provide money for the cost of college tuition and books for every student that graduates from Webb Elementary School and then graduates from high school.  This $750 per semester scholarship is available for a total of 8 semesters of college or in some cases an approved vocational school.  This scholarship program was started in 1995, and the first student to attend college on a Webb/Rotary scholarship was in the Fall of 2002.   

 

When students graduate from Webb school, a Rotary scholarship certificate is given to the student during the graduation ceremony.  Upon graduation from a high school, a student that wishes to attend college contacts the Arlington Rotary Club scholarship chairman, the student provides a letter of acceptance to the college, and a list of planned courses the student will take.  After approval of the college and course load, a $750 check is issued from the Arlington Rotary Foundation to the college for the students' books and tuition.

 

There were 31 students currently receiving a Rotary/Webb scholarship during the Fall of 2007, and 39 students were funded for the Spring semester 2008.  To date, there have been eight students graduate either from college or technical school since the inception of the program. Many more will be graduating soon with degrees in architecture, business, hotel management, psychology, and other fields.    

 

Currently, Rotary members assist college seniors with applying for federal aid for Pell Grants and for State Grants.  If students qualify for Pell Grants, the money Rotary would have given to that student is given to the next student that needs help to attend college.  Therefore, only those students who do not qualify for federal assistance to go to school receive money from Rotary. 

 

In October 2007, The Arlington Rotary Foundation created a Scholarship Endowment Program whereby only the interest from the endowment is used for educational scholarships.  The short term goal for the Endowment is to have $1,000,000 by the end of 2008; a goal for 2010 for this program is $2,000,000.  A $2,000,000 endowment would generate about $100,000 a year for books and tuition for needy students. A long term goal is to have $5,000,000 in endowment money so that more needy children in our community will benefit.

 

A review of the existing program as of 2007 indicates that the college enrollment rate for these students is 67%, or significantly above the average for minorities who are poor, and from parents with low educational levels.   We believe the uniqueness of this program is a motivator for these students and their parents who wish a better education for their children.  This program teaches students in our community how to help themselves in life by becoming better educated. 

 

Please contact Jim Fulgham, Director of Scholarships, Al Clark, Chair of the Endowment Fund, or Walter Virden, Foundation Treasurer for more information, or to make a contribution to the future of our area children.  Jim's phone is 817-265-9471; Al's number is 817-468-3033; Walter can be reached at 817-274-2981.  100% of your contribution will go to the children's education.