Foundation Awards $500,000 Grant to Orphan Foundation of America
Foundation Opens Doors for Teenagers Coming out of Foster Care System to Attend College
Partners with Orphan Foundation of America to Expand Scholarship Program
Lansdowne, VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded the Orphan Foundation of America (OFA) a $500,000 grant to provide undergraduate and graduate scholarships to students transitioning out of foster care around the nation. The grant, payable over two years, will also provide for study abroad programs and stipends for student internships.
Each year nearly 25,000 teenagers age out of foster care with dreams of going to college. However, less than 10 percent attend and less than three percent graduate. Other OFA scholarships have had a profound effect on those numbers. Nearly 75 percent of students supported through OFA scholarships since 2000 are still in college or have completed their postsecondary degree.
“The missions of our organizations are parallel; we both seek to provide hope and aid to students who have the ability and the drive to succeed in college, but who need a financial boost,” said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, the executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “OFA is our neighbor in Loudoun County, which also makes it easy for us to work together.”
The grant funds will be dispersed in this manner:
• Twenty undergraduate scholarships ($5,000 each) renewable for a second year
• Ten graduate scholarships ($10,000 each), renewable for a second year
• Up to 20 study abroad/internship stipends (approximately $2,500 each)
• Program support totaling $50,000 over two years
OFA’s Chief Executive Officer Eileen McCaffrey stated, “We’re grateful to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for its generosity and for recognizing our organization’s efforts to help this vulnerable and often overlooked segment of the American population. We look forward to serving this new group of 30 students and helping them achieve academic and personal success as college graduates.”
About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private foundation dedicated to helping young people of exception promise reach their full potential through education. The Foundation provides challenging opportunities to high achievers from lower-income families through its Young Scholars Program, generous scholarships for undergraduate and graduate study, and grants to nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. http://www.jkcf.org
About the Orphan Foundation of America
The Orphan Foundation of America, based in Sterling, VA, a short distance from the headquarters of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, was founded almost 30 years ago by the late Joseph Rivers, a foster care child himself. Begun as an outreach program for inner-city foster children in Washington, DC, the OFA expanded and is now the largest provider of college funding and support services for foster youth in the nation.
It is dedicated to supporting the thousands of young people who age out of foster care each year. OFA awards scholarships to enable these youth to attend college and trade school, and also provides mentoring, academic coaching, internships, and care packages to ensure their graduation and successful entry into the workforce. http://orphan.org/