Give Something Back provides mentors and scholarships to help Pell Grant eligible students go to college and graduate in four years, debt-free.
The Give Back Difference
There are scholarships. There are mentoring programs. Give Back is both. And, our model is ground breaking.
Give Back scholars are lower-income (Pell Grant eligible), academically driven students who have faced adversity. Many are working-class kids who live below the poverty line. Most are first-generation college students. Some have incarcerated parents and others are growing up in the foster system.
We select scholarship recipients early—in the ninth grade—in order to prepare them for college. Our scholars are held accountable. They are required to have a minimum 3.0 GPA in high school, take a college preparatory course load, and demonstrate strong character throughout the program.
More than Money
The obstacles to achieving a degree don’t disappear once a student is accepted into college. In the last two decades alone, 36 million Americans of all economic classes started college, but never graduated. Many ran out of money or were not given the necessary tools to succeed before arriving on campus. Give Back’s goal is to prevent that from happening.
Our scholars attend one of our partner colleges. Tuition, fees and room and board are covered.
However, money alone does not ensure success. Give Back provides students with the support and resources to help them prepare for the unexpected challenges first generation college students face. Each of our scholars is paired with a qualified mentor or within a group mentorship to help the student stay on track, reach successive goals and navigate the complexities of college preparation.
Give Back’s Unique Financial Model
Even with university and government financial aid, the cost of college is still unmanageable for most lower-income families. Give Back helps our scholars get every federal and state grant dollar they qualify for, but this still isn’t enough.
We have figured out an exceptional way to fund this ‘gap’ with a pre-paid model:
- Give Back selects a partner college and provides a large, upfront contribution to the school.
- The college can use the contribution as unrestricted dollars for four years before our scholars ever set foot on campus – typically earning interest.
- In exchange, the college generously fills the rest of the financial gap so that tuition, fees, room & board are covered for the scholars.
- A written partner agreement outlines that the college will reserve a designated number of spots for Give Back scholars at a deeply discounted cost. This way we do not make promises we can’t keep, despite rising costs of college or future economic downturns.
How Do We Know it Works?
To date, we have pre-paid for over 1,000 scholars to go to college debt-free. That’s an upfront investment of over $14.5 million. As our organization grows, so does our goal. We plan to triple the number of students we help earn their post-secondary degree.
Give Back alumni are succeeding:
90% college graduation rate
100% employment rate
Over 50% have become mentors
Have become doctors, attorneys, executives, teachers and more
What Our Scholars Say About Give Back:
“Without this scholarship, my likeliness of attending college would be slim to none.”
“There was one day early in the year that I went to check my student balance and was absolutely stunned when I saw a balance of $0.00. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of someone having the blessing of a zero dollar balance for their college charges.”
“I will continue to give back to [Give Back] as much as I can. Right now, it may just be through mentoring and volunteering, but if I ever will be able to give back financially; I will definitely do that as well.”
“Knowing that I will be the first person from my immediate family to possess a four year college degree makes me proud, which motivates me to continue to work hard.”
“I am proud to be a part of Give Back because the community is made up of some of the best people I have ever met. I cannot wait to see how large the foundation grows and how many other people are positively affected by its reaches.“
“I continue to step outside of my comfort zone to grow as a person because of the potential that Give Back saw in me. I am thankful for all those that believed in me, including Give Back, and now it’s my turn to believe in those that can impact the future. “
Board of Directors
Board Member, President and CEO
Board Member and Treasurer
Chief of Staff