The Scholar: A Publication of Scholarship America
July 2018

May 22 Dreams to Success Day Focused On Students & Their Champions

Sara Goldrick-Rab addresses the Partner Summit

Sara Goldrick-Rab addresses the Partner Summit. Click to see all the day’s photos!

Scholarship America’s 2018 Dreams to Success event was an entire day devoted to showcasing students and the best in higher education, scholarship and student support programs.

#StudentsFirst: A Meeting of Great Minds

The first-ever Scholarship America Partner Summit, sponsored by GradSnapp and Purdue University Global, featured powerful presentations by Dr. Sara Goldrick-Rab, Founder, Wisconsin HOPE Lab; Dr. Martha Kanter, executive director of the College Promise Campaign and Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education and Secretary John B. King, Jr., president and CEO of The Education Trust and Former U. S. Secretary of Education.

Students from BridgeEdU talked about challenges they face in pursuing higher education and speakers from AXA Achievement, Genentech, College Possible and Travelers shared innovative solutions they’ve developed to help students succeed.

Dream Award recipient Yessenia Cantero Hernandez, who addressed the Dreams to Success National Education Dinner & Awards Celebration

Dream Award recipient Yessenia Cantero Hernandez

Celebrating Extraordinary Students

Yessenia Cantero Hernandez, a nursing major at Northern Kentucky University, told her story, and spoke on behalf of all of the 2017 and 2018 Scholarship America Dream Award recipients. The Dream Award is a renewable scholarship for students with financial need who have overcome barriers and successfully started their college education. To date, 54 students have received Dream Awards, totaling over $1 million.

Students spoke about the impact of the Dream Award on their lives at their tables. After a powerful performance of “You Raise Me Up” by singer and emcee Jearlyn Steele and The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir, Steele and Scholarship America board chair Barry Griswell called for contributions to support the Dream Award. With a $50,000 match from Voya Financial and chairman and CEO Rod Martin, over $100,000 was raised. Voya Financial was also the presenting sponsor for the dinner.

Lifetime Achievement Award Given to Senator George J. Mitchell

Senator George J. Mitchell received a Lifetime Achievement Award, enthralling attendees with a heartfelt acceptance speech. The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented in recognition of his lifelong devotion to education and establishment of the Mitchell Scholarship Institute, which has awarded more than 2,500 scholarships totaling over $14.5 million since 1995 to students from each of Maine’s 134 public high schools. (Click here to watch a video profiling two Mitchell scholarship students).

Senator Mitchell was accompanied by Kylie and Jesse, two Mitchell Institute Scholars. Click to watch the Senator’s remarks.

“My goal is to see to it that every single child in Maine has the same chance that I did. I know it’s not mathematically possible, but if we set high, impossible goals and work as best we can, to come as close as we can, think about how much good we can do,” Mitchell said as he shared his story in an impassioned address. “Genius is found wherever there are human beings … the challenge of any society, especially our own, is to light that spark.”

 Scholarship America Honors presented to Genentech, GE Foundation

Genentech and the GE Foundation received Scholarship America Honors in recognition of their outstanding student initiatives.

Genentech’s Science Education Program, Futurelab, supports K-12 students in South San Francisco, getting them excited about science. More than 9, 300 students benefit annually from Futurelab programs: Gene Academy homework help and mentoring; Helix Cup team science challenges; and Science Garage, a biotech curriculum that fulfills college entry requirements. The company also presents four-year awards of $50,000 per year to two exceptional seniors and one-time scholarships to eight runners-up.

For over 100 years, GE has supported higher education. Its GE Brilliant Career Lab in Boston is a first-of-its-kind interactive experience and mobile lab combining experiential learning with career-readiness planning in high demand STEM fields. The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program and GE-JFK Library Scholarship Program are also standout initiatives.

Thank You Sponsors!

“We are very grateful to our many generous sponsors as well as to all who hosted tables or made donations,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “In the end, it is all about students. Since 1958, Scholarship America has built programs and partnerships that have distributed over $4 billion and helped over 2.4 million students. We are committed to ensuring any student pursuing higher education has the support needed to achieve success.”

See all the videos and photos from the Partner Summit and Dreams to Success at


Scholarship America One Of Minnesota’s Top 150 Workplaces

Scholarship America has been named one of the Top 150 Workplaces in Minnesota by the Star Tribune.

Top Workplaces recognizes the most progressive companies in Minnesota based on employee opinions measuring engagement, organizational health and satisfaction. 162 Scholarship America employees, or 93%, completed an employee survey that was a part of the evaluation.

To qualify, a company must have more than 50 employees in Minnesota. Over 2,400 organizations were invited to participate.

“I am so proud of our staff,” said Robert C. Ballard, chairman and CEO. “We have a great team, passionate about helping students achieve their educational dreams. It is gratifying to know they feel so good about working at Scholarship America.”


Keeping Your Data Protected

Scholarship America has always been highly protective of the information it collects. We are in the process of reviewing our privacy policy to ensure it complies with the newly enforced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), designed to protect people’s personal data.

We never sell student, partner or donor data and only use data collected with consent. We are committed to transparency and ensuring people give consent to using and managing their data.

“I’m pleased to say we anticipate no significant changes to our privacy policy in light of GDPR. Personal information you provide to Scholarship America is always treated with great care and integrity,” said Stephanie Stoffel, Scholarship America’s Vice President of Information Technology.

Stoffel has also been named Scholarship America’s Data Privacy Officer. If you have questions, or wish to change or update your information, email


Leadership Update

Rhianna Quinn Roddy Among 2018 Women of Distinction

Rhianna Quinn Roddy, executive director of the Families of Freedom Scholarship Fund, was recognized among the 2018 Women of Distinction in New York on May 1, 2018. The Women of Distinction honors, sponsored by the New York State Senate, showcase “outstanding women living and working in New York State whose contributions have greatly enhanced the quality of life in their communities and beyond.”

Quinn Roddy, a member of Scholarship America’s executive team, was nominated by New York State Senator Phil Boyle. Her contributions to New York State and beyond are cited in this article.

Scholarship America Mourns the Passing of Ralph “Cy” Seifert

Honor Roll Trustee Ralph “Cy” Seifert passed away on May 22, 2018 at the age of 90. Seifert first became involved with Scholarship America (then the Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation or CSF) in 1960, when he spearheaded a Dollars for Scholars chapter in Mansfield, Massachusetts, the thirteenth chapter in the country.  He traveled across Massachusetts and throughout the country on behalf of the organization, serving as president of CSF of Massachusetts, clerk of the Citizens’ Scholarship Foundation of America, and finally, board chair from 1979 to 1984. As board chair, Seifert oversaw the creation of the Saint Peter, Minnesota headquarters.

In 1988, he was named to Scholarship America’s Honor Roll Trustees. In 2010, Scholarship America presented him with a 50-year Volunteer Service Award and announced that the Outstanding Volunteer Award recognizing an outstanding Dollars for Scholars volunteer would henceforth be called the Ralph “Cy” Seifert Volunteer of the Year Award.

A Brown University graduate, Seifert was instrumental in arranging for Scholarship America’s archives to be located at Brown University. Of his many contributions over 58 years, he was most proud of leading the $41 million campaign in the 1990s that expanded Scholarship America’s programs, added to an endowment for scholarships, and expanded the facilities in Saint Peter.


A Day Out in Support of the Dream Award

Crown Castle, the nation’s largest provider of wireless infrastructure, is a longtime supporter of Scholarship America’s Dream Award. Scholarship America CFO Richard Greene (second from left) recently attended Crown Castle’s annual charity golf invitational, which this year raised $45,000 for Dream Award scholarships. Our thanks to Crown Castle!


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