PLAN!T NOW (P!N) has launched an addition to the P!N Hurricane Relief Scholarship Program (P!N HRS) called the P!N Dreamkeepers award. With several 2010 awards targeting Florida and Miami Dade College in particular, “Twilight” star and Jacksonville native Ashley Greene is the celebrity supporter of this year’s awards.
“I’m thrilled to support the young adults in my home state who are pursuing their dreams through higher education. Congratulations to Miami Dade College and PLAN!T NOW for this innovative program,” said Greene.
P!N Dreamkeepers will award academic scholarships of $2,500 each to four community college students. Preference will be given to students studying natural hazard science topics that help predict or mitigate the impacts of natural disasters on human life.
In 2008, as a means of improving hurricane preparedness in high-risk regions in the United States, P!N created the Hurricane Relief Scholarship program for college students severely impacted by hurricanes or tropical storms. The inaugural, 2009 award honored students at four year colleges and universities who, despite suffering significant setbacks, demonstrated academic and/or service excellence, an inner drive to succeed, and a willingness to use their life experiences to encourage hurricane preparedness. The new award, P!N Dreamkeepers, is an exciting part of the program’s growth, now reaching individuals in the community college network.
“Community colleges are the most viable choice for many people seeking higher education. They are an important resource for individuals re-entering school after extended breaks. In storm zones, it is not uncommon for such breaks to be disaster-related. In fact, the 2010 P!N Dreamkeepers will make a special outreach to people in the Haitian diaspora who have experienced the devastation of five 2007 and 2008 hurricanes and the 2010 earthquake,” said P!N President, Donna Lee.
Scholarship America (SA), a national education service non-profit, will administer the program. The Dreamkeepers Program began in 2004 with a grant from the Lumina Foundation for Education. Today, SA administers the Dreamkeepers program in Miami Dade College and 17 others nationwide.
Dreamkeepers helps colleges retain students who would otherwise drop-out or postpone education because of financial hardship due to medical expenses or job losses, for instance. According to data obtained by Scholarship America, the average re-enrollment and graduation rate at community colleges is approximately 55 percent. However, from 2008-2009, Dreamkeepers awardees re-enrolled or graduated at a rate of 84 percent.
“We are proud to partner with PLAN!T NOW to provide Dreamkeepers’ students with this valuable scholarship opportunity,” says Donald Lassere, Senior Vice President of Scholarship America. “The Dreamkeepers/PLAN!T NOW scholarships will provide a very needed financial resource to students in the Gulf Region who have demonstrated a strong desire to achieve their educational goals.”
For more information on this campaign and how to support it, visit http://planitnow.givezooks.com/campaigns/plan-t-now-dreamkeepers.
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