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Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund
The Smith Scholars are selected by members of the JAG Board of Directors who invest considerable time in reviewing applications, high school transcripts, essays and support letters. Selecting recipients for a $1,000 scholarship is a challenging assignment since the vast majority of the applicants need, want and can use the scholarship to pursue a collegiate education and their career goals. It is expected that 75-100 applications will apply for the ten scholarships. Scholarships are funded through the generosity of JAG Board members and will continue to be supported by the JAG Board. In addition, the Board has agreed to encourage others to donate to the Scholarship Fund including alumni, employers, and Friends of JAG. The purpose of expanding the donor base of the Scholarship Fund is to increase the number and amount of scholarships awarded annually. JAG is proud to announce that nearly 50 percent of the JAG graduates are pursuing a postsecondary education. The ultimate goal is for a growing percentage of JAG graduates to apply and be recognized as a Smith Scholar. This is a fitting tribute to Kenneth M. Smith, the only President of Jobs for America’s Graduates since the organization’s inception in 1980.
Scholarship Fund Structure and Process
The Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund operates with a two-committee organizational structure. Chairs and members are appointed by the JAG Board Chair.
- Governance Committee is chaired by Jim Duffy and co-chaired by Larry Caruso b. Smith Scholars Screening Committee is chaired by Cathy McKee Olesen and co-chaired by Dr. Sharon Robinson
- A restricted account was established under JAG, Inc. to track donations and scholarship awards thereby donors enjoy the benefits of contributing to a 501(c)(3) organization with tax exemption by the Internal Revenue Service.
- Scholarships are awarded for no less than $1,000 to attend a postsecondary institution, including a public or private two-year community college, career college, four-year college, university, apprenticeship or a short-term course leading to industry recognized certification.
- The Smith Scholars Program is publicized at JAG national events, in correspondence and in various publications to recruit qualified applicants. The guidelines and application for the Smith Scholars Program will be posted on the JAG website for downloading purposes on or before February 1 annually.
The Governance Committee will reach out to the following in an effort to attract new and current donors:
- JAG Board members willing and able to contribute to the Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund
- The JAG National Network to encourage contributions to the Fund including JAG State Organizations, Local Programs, Career Association Chapters, Local and State Board Members, Employers, etc.
- The Governance Committee will review the balance of the Fund and determine the number of scholarships to be awarded in the current year.
- The donor philosophy and practice is that the Fund must not compete with core or other fundraising by JAG.
Scholarship applicants will submit completed applications and documentation on or before March 1 of each year. JAG staff will review the applications and eliminate those without the required documentation and place applicants into three categories:
- Top 1/3rd
- Middle 1/3rd
- Bottom 1/3rd
- JAG Board members will be recruited to serve on the Smith Scholars Screening Committee as well as one CSA Representative and one JAG Specialist for the current year.
- The Smith Scholars Screening Committee will review the screened applications and assign ratings for each applicant using the Scholarship Rating Sheet. The individual ratings for each applicant will be totaled and the candidates will be ranked based on their grand total.
- The Top 20 applicants will be submitted to the Governance Committee to select those candidates that will be awarded scholarships. (The number of “Top applicants” will vary depending on the number of scholarships to be awarded. The Governance Committee will project the number of scholarships to be awarded and the Screening Committee will present the Governance Committee with twice as many “Top applicants” to select the targeted number of scholarship recipients.)
- The Chair of the Governance Committee will send the names of the Smith Scholars to the JAG Executive Vice President to process the scholarship awards and distribute a press release indicating the names of the Smith Scholars for the current year.
Kenneth M. Smith Scholarship Fund 2013 Key Dates
- February 1 - The guidelines and application for the Smith Scholars Program will be posted on the JAG web site for downloading purposes on or before February 1 annually.
- March 1 - Smith Scholars Applications must be submitted on or before March 1 annually.
- April 15 - Smith Scholars Award recipients will be announced on or before April 1 annually.
- May 1 - Smith Scholars Award recipients will receive their check on or before May 1 annually.