The Scholar: A Publication of Scholarship America

October 2017 

Helping Students In the Face of Natural Disasters

Scholarship America National Disaster Relief Fund - Click to learn more

Post-disaster financial aid helps low-income students stay on track for their college education. To help ensure those students can stay in school, Scholarship America’s National Disaster Relief Fund is donating $200,000 to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are also raising funds to ensure the Fund can help students impacted by Hurricanes Irma and Maria — and by future natural disasters.

“We’ve seen the catastrophic impact of natural disasters on students who were already struggling to pay for their college education. The risk of dropping out altogether escalates exponentially when a natural disaster like a hurricane strikes their school or family,” said Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America. “Our goal, to the greatest extent possible, is to help ensure students are not forced to drop out or interrupt their education because of financial hardships.”

Schools in affected areas of Texas and Louisiana can apply for Scholarship America National Disaster Relief Fund grants by going to Applications will be accepted until October 31. Schools then disburse funds to students to help with tuition, books and supplies, room and board or other education-related expenses.

In addition, we are working to replenish the National Disaster Relief Fund so we can help those affected by Hurricanes Irma and Maria — as well as crises yet to come. Foundations and individuals who want to help to ensure there is a National Disaster Relief Fund in place for future disasters can contribute donations at by selecting “National Disaster Relief Fund” from the menu.



Scholarship America Supports Efforts to Find a DACA Solution

The proposal to end the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program affects many students profoundly. Finding a permanent solution providing relief and security for those students is a priority for Scholarship America’s public policy efforts.

“Our scholars are among the best and brightest individuals in the country. Many of them have overcome significant barriers in their lives. They are the finest examples of Scholarship America’s success and the opportunities America has to offer—and yes, they include DREAMers, who were brought to the U.S. as children and now face possible deportation through no fault of their own from the only country they’ve ever known due to the lack of documentation,” said Robert C. Ballard, Scholarship America president and CEO.

“Scholarship America joins virtually all colleges and universities and many other national student support organizations in calling on the U. S. Congress to enact legislation that will deliver permanent relief and security for these individuals,” Ballard said. “The DREAMers we work with are eager to complete their postsecondary educations and get jobs. They are a critical part of our nation’s future workforce. DREAMers are Americans in every measure and deserve our country’s support.”


Scholarship America, Wells Fargo Join Forces on Military Makeover

Scholarship America and Wells Fargo appeared on Designing Spaces: Military Makeover in September on the Lifetime Network. Military Makeover is a special mini-series dedicated to members of the military and their loved ones. The host, retired United States Marine Corps Staff Sergeant R. Lee Ermey, aka “The Gunny,” enlists the help of renovators, designers, landscapers and others to change the living situation of deserving military families.

Robert C. Ballard, president and CEO of Scholarship America, and Jerry Quinn, Military & Veteran Programs Manager for Wells Fargo, are featured in the last program of the three-part series focused on making over the Florida home of Marine Corps veteran Sergeant Ed Tague and his wife Mandi.

Sgt. Tague served three tours in Iraq, seeing combat in the Second Battle of Fallujah, which engaged the U.S. Marines in some of the heaviest combat since the Vietnam War. After returning from his final tour, Tague found his calling: serving veterans as an employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Tague just started work on a Master’s degree in social work at Florida State University to advance within the VA and serve veterans in an even more impactful way.

Military Makeover reached out to Scholarship America early in the year wanting to showcase scholarships and services for veterans,” said Ballard. “We immediately thought of Wells Fargo, and its stellar Veterans Scholarship and Emergency Grant Programs which help transitioning military members stay in school and successfully complete their higher education.”

“Wells Fargo has been committed to helping military, veterans and their families succeed for more than 160 years,” Quinn said. “When we heard Ed Tague’s story and the example he sets in his community, we definitely wanted to support his pursuit of helping more veterans.”

Wells Fargo surprised Sgt. Tague with a special scholarship during the September 29 broadcast, which re-airs October 6. Episodes are available at

Since the Wells Fargo Veteran Scholarships and Emergency Grants Program launched in 2014, Wells Fargo and Scholarship America have awarded 22 scholarships and 25 emergency grants to support education and vocational training for veterans and the spouses of disabled veterans. In total, since 2012, Wells Fargo has donated more than $75 million to military and veteran causes. Earlier this year Wells Fargo earned the coveted Dreams to Success award for innovation for their scholarship and emergency grant program.


Student Spotlight: Wyatt Tauber, Student Volunteer of the Year

Wyatt Tauber’s earliest childhood memories are of sitting on his grandfather’s lap in front of a computer screen. At the time his parents did not own a computer, so going to his grandparents’ house to play on the computer was a special treat. Wyatt could entertain himself for hours just typing random child’s gibberish on WordPad and playing other games. For the young Wyatt, the computer sparked his sense of wonder and curiosity—and now, as Wyatt embarks on his college career, that love of learning has also helped him become the Dollars for Scholars National Student Volunteer of the Year.

Wyatt’s volunteer work began as an extension of his technology hobbies. In 8th grade, he joined the high school’s FIRST (For the Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics club. He became the team’s assistant programmer and shadowed the lead programmer. When the lead programmer moved away just before competition, Wyatt was quickly promoted. He had to learn coding language in a matter of months, so his team could build a robot for competition. Wyatt watched YouTube videos and sought help from online communities, cultivating this new skill to help out his team. The robot they built was pretty basic that first year, but the team’s projects have gotten increasingly complex as Wyatt has learned more and recruited more team members.

That was the start of his volunteering, which would eventually extend throughout his entire Northern Minnesota community and beyond. Read more on Success by Degrees, the Scholarship America blog!


Leadership Update

New To The Board of Trustees

Alain Karaoglan, Operating Officer, Voya Financial, Inc.
Alain Karaoglan is responsible for Voya’s ongoing business, which includes the Annuities, Employee Benefits, Individual Life, Investment Management and Retirement segments. He is responsible for the profitability and growth of the business—and is focused on aligning the five segments to support Voya’s growth strategy and ensure the company operates as a customer-centric organization. He also oversees Brand and Corporate Communications, Corporate Marketing, Corporate Development, Strategic Relationship Management and the Customer Solutions Group.


New To The Executive Team

Andrea Smith, Vice President, DevelopmentAndrea Smith, Vice President, Development
Andrea Smith comes from the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, where she served as Managing Director, Major Gifts. She started her career as a program coordinator with the Muscular Dystrophy Association. She also served as Executive Director, Director of Business Development and Coordinator of the Atlanta Labor Day Telethon of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Southeast Regional Office before moving to Grady Health Foundation, where she worked as Major Gifts Officer and then Director of Development.




Small Change Makes A Big Change!

Interest for Others

Small change adds up to big change when you donate earned interest to Scholarship America.

If just 9 percent of commercial bank account holders in the U.S. donated their interest, $2.3 million would have been donated to charity. Join the movement at—together we can make a big difference.


Keep Connected With Scholarship America

Like us, follow us, and spread the word!
Show your support by liking and following our Facebook and Twitter pages, then tell others to do the same. And by sharing our posts, you’ll be giving valuable scholarship advice to the students in your life.

We also invite you to volunteer at the local or national level. Search for your local Dollars for Scholars chapter here. Our volunteers come together in communities across America to work on behalf of local students – and they’re always looking for more help!

Finally, your monetary gift makes a huge difference in the lives of students. An education truly is the gift that lasts a lifetime!

Support A Student's Dream!

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