Five Jefferson County high schools will split a five-year $1.57 million grant to help hundreds of disadvantaged students.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Talent Search Program grant will help 750 Jefferson County students each year, said Mayor Greg Fischer. The program targets the following:
“Students who need guidance on and assistance in secondary school reentry, secondary school dropouts, students who are limited English proficient, students from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in postsecondary education, students with disabilities, students who are homeless children and youths, students who are in foster care or are aging out of the foster care system or other disconnected students.”
It will also help the city achieve its 55,000 Degrees goal by 2020, he said.
“You’ve got the reality of the world crushing down on you and we need help. So that’s where we need the mentors to come in and play and that’s where the Educational Talent Search Program comes in. It helps students remove these obstacles clearing the path to higher education,” he said.
Fischer was joined by Congressman John Yarmuth, D-3, and Superintendent Donna Hargens in announcing the grant to Kentuckiana Works College Access Center through the Kentuckiana Works Foundation. KCAC will receive $321,777 this year and $321,124 each year for Fairdale, Iroquois, Liberty, Valley and Western high schools.
Shermaine Johns, 16, has participated in the program for several years. She said her perception changed after visiting college campuses in Kentucky.
“I wouldn’t have toured a college in Kentucky. I didn’t want to stay here for college. But it was definitely a memorable experience with many different students from different schools and many different places that I wouldn’t have got to go to on my own,” said Johns.