The Kohl’s Cares© Scholarship Program is looking for more than 2,300 outstanding young volunteers. And they’re willing to reward commitment to community service by investing in generous scholarships and prizes totaling nearly $400,000.
Families are often surprised to find that outside of academics and athletics, dedication to community service is among the best sources of scholarship support for college. But like academics and athletics, you can’t come into the game late. You have to build a consistent track record of service that begins long before second semester senior year when most high school students begin thinking about scholarships.
Recognizing the value of starting early, Kohl’s sponsors one of few programs that reward students as young as six years-old. But the real focus is on volunteers who have established programs and asked others to share their vision of service and caring.
This year, Kohl’s Cares will award ten national winners $10,000 in scholarships along with an additional $1,000 donated to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf.
In 2013, Kohl’s honored 17-year old Paige Alenick, of Woodcliff, New Jersey, for launching an organization dedicated to providing toothbrushes to those without access or unable to afford them. Donate-A-Toothbrush has donated more than 38,000 toothbrushes to more than 20 Third World Countries, shelters for battered women and children, a nursery school in Kenya, and victims of Hurricane Sandy.
And recognizing a need within his immediate community, Garland Jones of Marietta, Georgia created a youth-led project to provide food for poor and distressed refugee families in Atlanta. Since the project began in 20012, Back-N-Pack has collected more than 16,000 pounds of food and raised more than $4,500 for the cause.
Locally, Jason Cui of Great Falls, Virginia, earned a Kohl’s regional scholarship for his program to encourage teens to visit hospitalized peers. Nine-year old Melia Gayaldo, of Silver Spring, Maryland, was also a regional winner for collecting more than 480 pairs of gloves, 100 pairs of socks, 50 scarves and hundreds of travel size toiletries all of which were donated to organizations serving those in need.
To be considered for a Kohl’s Cares scholarship, students must be nominated by adults familiar with their work. Nominations will be accepted until March 14, 2014, and require a detailed description of activities taking place in the previous year.
And the prizes are wonderful. Two nominees from each of the more than 1,100 Kohl’s stores nationwide will win $50 gift cards, and nearly 200 will win regional scholarships worth $1,000. The ten national awards will be selected from among regional winners.
Since 2001, Kohl’s has recognized more than 19,500 kids with more than $3.9 million in scholarships and prizes. For more information or to begin the nomination process visit the Kohl’s Cares Scholarship website.