WASHINGTON, Feb. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced the establishment of a new scholarship initiative, the Horatio Alger National Career and Technical Scholarship Program. Funded through the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund and the generosity of Association Chairman Emeritus and Endowment Fund President Walter Scott, Jr., 10 scholarships of up to $2,500 each will annually be awarded in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia to students who wish to pursue career or technical education at an institute affiliated with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC).
The scholarships are made possible through the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund and the generosity of Walter Scott, Jr., former chairman of the Association and current president of the Horatio Alger Endowment Fund. Scott is the former CEO of constructing and mining industry leader Peter Kiewit Sons' Inc. and chairman emeritus of Level 3 Communications, Inc.
"Career and technical programs are a growing trend in our country," Scott said. "There is a resurgence of interest in career-focused education that develops skills in-demand by employers. Through programs offered by our community colleges, young people can quickly and successfully enter the workforce. I'm honored to be part of an organization that supports the personal and educational growth of our nation's young people."
Research about higher education reveals that rising tuition costs, inadequate financial and emotional support, and institutional obstacles may deter even the most committed young people from furthering their education and launching viable careers. This led the Association to consult with the AACC, the primary advocacy organization for the nation's community colleges, on the development and marketing of this new scholarship initiative. The AACC exists to support such programs, raising awareness among its network of community colleges to help young people gain access to education at every opportunity.
Walter Bumphus, President and CEO of the AACC, said, "Our members are committed to helping young men and women succeed through leadership, career development opportunities, and access to education. "Because of our similar missions, we are proud to support the Horatio Alger Association's sponsorship of this valuable new scholarship program. We look forward to working together to make a difference in the lives of many students."
Qualifying applicants must be enrolled as high school seniors in the United States with plans to pursue career or technical education. To be considered, applicants must demonstrate having overcome personal adversity, current financial need and a minimum GPA of 2.0. In addition to scholarship funds, the Association offers access to educational and financial counseling, a 24-hour support line, and internship/placement opportunities.
Walter Scott, Jr. was inducted into Horatio Alger Association in 1997. He has been a benefactor to the Association's other scholarship programs and is founder of its State Scholarship Programs, which now assist more than 700 students across the nation.
"We are grateful for the leadership and generosity of Walter Scott in helping ensure the American Dream for generations to come," said Tony Novelly, Chairman of Horatio Alger Association. "As proven by the stories of Horatio Alger Members and Scholars, there are many different paths to achieving success. By introducing this new scholarship program, our goal is to make certain that determined, hard-working young people are not deterred from pursuing higher education due to issues of accessibility or personal and familial challenges."
The application period for the Horatio Alger National Career and Technical Scholarship will open March 15, 2016, and extend through June 15, 2016. For more information about Horatio Alger Association or to apply, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans:
Founded in 1947, the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. is dedicated to the simple but powerful belief that hard work, honesty and determination can conquer all obstacles. The Association honors the achievements of outstanding leaders who have accomplished remarkable successes in spite of adversity by bestowing upon them the Horatio Alger Award and inducting them as lifetime Members. Horatio Alger Members support promising young people with the resources and confidence needed to overcome adversity in pursuit of their dreams through higher education. Through the generosity of its Members and friends, the Association awards more than $11 million annually in undergraduate and graduate need-based scholarships across the United States and Canada and provides college support and mentoring services to its Scholars. Since 1984, the Association has awarded more than $125 million in college scholarships to more than 22,000 deserving young people. For more information, please visit www.horatioalger.org.
About American Association of Community Colleges:
As the voice of the nation's community colleges, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), delivers educational and economic opportunity for 13 million diverse students in search of the American Dream. Uniquely dedicated to access and success for all students, AACC's member colleges provide an on-ramp to degree attainment, skilled careers and family-supporting wages. Located in Washington, D.C., AACC advocates for these not-for-profit, public-serving institutions to ensure they have the resources and support they need to deliver on the mission of increasing economic mobility for all. For more information, please visit www.aacc.nche.edu.
SOURCE Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc.