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SOURCE Golden Door Scholars
Local CEO and nonprofit founder pledges matching gift of up to $1 million to support college scholarships for high-achieving undocumented students in North and South Carolina.
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Red Ventures CEO Ric Elias announced today that Golden Door Scholars, a nonprofit founded to provide educational opportunities for high-performing, undocumented students, will begin accepting applications for a second year of recipients on October 1.
Elias has again committed $1 million to supporting the effort, this year in the form of a pledge to match every dollar raised between now and January 1, 2014. Those interested in donating can do so at www.goldendoorscholars.org.
While fundraising efforts are underway for the next group of Scholars, the 13 recipients of last years' scholarships have already begun their higher education, attending prestigious local schools including Davidson, Wake Forest, Elon, Furman, and High Point University, among others. Each student received a full scholarship under the condition that he/she would help contribute to another student's education in the future.
The inaugural class of Golden Door Scholars was selected from a pool of more than 500 undocumented students, and had an average GPA of 4.47. The next round of applicants is expected to be even more competitive.
"We are prepared to receive thousands of applications this year," Elias said. "We're doing everything we can to raise the money and create the new partnerships that will make it possible for more of these outstanding students continue their education."
North Carolina has an estimated 35,000 undocumented students throughout its primary and secondary school systems, none of whom are eligible for state financial aid or in-state tuition rates. As a result, only 5-10% of undocumented high school students in North Carolina who graduate high school will attend college.
Elias and a team of supporters founded Golden Door Scholars in 2012 after learning about the financial barriers and lack of awareness that prevents high-achieving students from attending colleges and universities. Elias anchored Golden Door's inaugural fund raising efforts with a personal donation of $1 million dollars. Through innovative 50/50 partnerships with select private colleges and universities in North and South Carolina, GDS helped the funds go twice as far. This year, the group plans to continue those relationships as well as create new partnerships with other colleges and universities in the region.
"We're going to put the pressure on other institutions, organizations and lawmakers across the Carolinas," said Elias. "We are at the doorstep of real change."
Students and donors interested in learning more can visit www.goldendoorscholars.org.
About Golden Door Scholars:
Golden Door Scholars' mission is to is to dramatically expand educational opportunities for high-performing, undocumented students, through promoting awareness, funding advanced learning, and giving all students the chance to receive the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their academic and professional pursuits. Golden Door Scholars seeks to invest in exceptional students with long term potential; specifically in students whose access to higher education has been significantly diminished through no fault of their own. The group hopes that over time it will be able to shift both public perception and public policy. Learn more, donate, or apply at www.goldendoorscholars.org.
Video with caption: "Golden Door Scholars' mission is to is to dramatically expand educational opportunities for high-performing, undocumented students, through promoting awareness, funding advanced learning, and giving all students the chance to receive the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in their academic and professional pursuits. The group hopes that over time it will be able to shift both public perception and public policy. Learn more, donate, or apply at www.goldendoorscholars.org." Video available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tz1Bt7AhKs
Image with caption: "Golden Door Scholars is a nonprofit built to dramatically expand educational opportunities, increase awareness and raise scholarship funds for high-performing undocumented students. We envision an America where every exceptional student has the same educational and professional opportunities." Image available at: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131001/MM89505
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