536 GEAR UP juniors receive $1,000 Drive the Dream Scholarships
Hundreds of high school juniors from across Kentucky earned $1,000 academic scholarships in the “Drive the Dream” program, sponsored by GEAR UP Kentucky and the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.
A total of 536 students earned the scholarships and were recognized during a ceremony Friday at Western Kentucky University’s Knicely Conference Center in Bowling Green.
To be eligible for the scholarship, students must attend a school in the GEAR UP Kentucky program, participated in all the EXPLORE and PLAN assessments and reached the benchmark in at least two of the subject areas of the 2008 PLAN assessments. They also needed to maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average, and submit an essay and references. Students will receive the scholarships when they enroll in an accredited Kentucky college or university.
”These are among our best students, but it is a bittersweet moment for me, because this is the last in this series honoring scholarship winners,” said Yvonne Lovell, executive director of GEAR UP Kentucky. “Today represents the culminating event for this GEAR UP program. Although this program is concluding, another will begin, serving a new group of more than 10,000 students across the state.”
Scholarship recipients and their parents attended a day-long event that included informational sessions on topics such as financial aid, tips on succeeding in college, and college application timelines. Event attendees also heard from Ben Whitlock, who served as special guest speaker during lunch. Ben participated in GEAR UP Kentucky at Green County High School and graduated in May 2011. He is a Drive the Dream scholarship recipient and is currently a McConnell Scholar at the University of Louisville.