MINNEAPOLIS, May 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --A record one-day total of more than $800,000, was raised on May 7th to help students pay college expenses in these challenging times. Scholarship America, the nation's largest private provider of college scholarships, transitioned its 6th annual national Dream Awards event into a virtual "Day of Giving" to support its mission during the pandemic. Instead of a Washington, D.C. ballroom, the virtual event was hosted for 12 hours on Facebook, honoring 21 exceptional Scholarship America Dream Award recipients – students with financial need who have overcome significant barriers to make it to college.
"We are thankful to our generous sponsors and donors, who despite the pandemic and sudden shift to a virtual format, helped us raise funds to support future Dream Award scholarships," said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. "Our scholarship recipient's stories are unique and remarkable, yet they share a common theme. Each student's story showcases their resiliency and determination in pursuit of a college education."
Dreams to Success Presenting Sponsor, Voya Financial, along with many other sponsors and donors, stepped up to support the nonprofit's mission. Other participants in the event included past donors, current and past Dream Award recipients, and trustees from education, government, business and philanthropy. Fundraising matches were provided by Voya, the Scholarship America Board of Trustees, Honor Roll Trustees and executive team, and the Future of School scholarship program.
The event featured a videotaped performance by America's Got Talent Finalist Mandy Harvey and videos of inspiration from current and past scholarship recipients, trustees, and staff. This year's student recipients were featured in profile videos and interviews by MSNBC's Richard Lui—himself a first-generation college graduate and scholarship recipient.
Other past Dream Award recipients include aspiring doctors, nurses, health educators, psychologists, radiology technicians, teachers, neuroscientists, biologists, sociologists, human development professionals, engineers, political scientists and organizational behavior specialists. See a full list of 2020 Dream Award recipients here.