High school seniors filled the United Church on the Green to receive not the New Haven Promise, but a lower-profile scholarship that has funneled $7 million to kids over 54 years.
The event took place Sunday at the United Church on the Green, where 181 public high school seniors received a total of $298,000 in scholarship money from the New Haven Scholarship Fund.
The students hailed from traditional city schools, as well as Achievement First Amistad High and Common Ground High School, the city’s two charter high schools.
The scholarship fund was created in 1959 by Hillhouse High School math teacher Jean Lovell to help students with the expenses of post-secondary education. “In 1991, New Haven Public Schools Talented and Gifted program Supervisor Rhoda Spear donated her entire estate to be used for students planning a career in education,” according to a press release the school system sent out. “The gift of her estate and the continued support of countless others have significantly expanded the Scholarship’s ability to help more students.”
Since the scholarship’s inception, 7,000 students have received more than $7 million from the fund.
“Jim Barber, president of the all-volunteer New Haven Scholarship Fund, feels that every deserving young person should be given the opportunity, through education, to improve the quality of their lives,” the release reads. “Our mission is to keep those hopes alive.”