UCAN has awarded $1M to students since ‘08

By Ryan Ottney

September 22, 2013

Ryan Scott Ottney

PDT Staff Writer

The Scioto Foundation reported that its UCAN (University/College Access Network) program designed to help Scioto County students, plan, prepare and pay for college, has created significant growth in Scioto County school districts’ endowed scholarship funds during the first five years of the program.

Launched in 2008, the UCAN program’s vision is that one day every student from Scioto County will have the financial resources to attend the college or university of his or her choice. With a fifth year of results now complete, UCAN data shows substantial progress in its goals and efforts to provide increased educational opportunities and assistance for the young people of Scioto County.

Foundation records show that a grand total of $1,017,156.67 has been added to the 12 Scioto County school systems’ scholarship endowment funds invested at the Foundation during the period from 2008 – 2013.

“I am so amazed by the success of UCAN in its first five years and I’m looking forward to UCAN 2.0,” said Scioto Foundation Executive Director Kim Cutlip.

Seven Scioto County high schools met their goal of raising $50,000 to achieve a 1:1 maximum match for their UCAN scholarship endowments from the Scioto Foundation for the five years. Those school systems included Notre Dame, Bloom-Vernon, Wheelersburg, Valley, Clay, East Community and Portsmouth Schools. Valley School System claimed the highest amount of funds raised during the five years with a total of $59,224.56.

The total of all funds raised by Scioto County Schools at the end of UCAN’s fifth year is $531,814.41. The Scioto Foundation matched school scholarship funds with $515,716.26 for the five years of the UCAN initiative, creating a combined grand total of more than $1 million dollars in new scholarship growth.

The 12 Scioto County school districts that have participated in the Scioto Foundation’s UCAN program for its first five years employed a variety of fundraising strategies to make their goals for challenge grants offered by the Foundation since the 2008-09 school year.

The major component of the UCAN initiative gave participating schools the opportunity to earn up to $10,000 per year for their scholarship endowment funds invested at the Scioto Foundation which was then matched 1:1 by the Foundation. Provided with such generous motivation, the schools came up with a variety of fundraisers such as walk-a-thons, 5K runs, carnivals, scrimmage games, split-the-pot raffles and the sale of items like wristbands. Alumni groups also helped with their own projects like auctions and dinners. Individual alumni and special donors have contributed to the schools’ efforts to make their goal.

Seven school districts, including Bloom Vernon, Clay, Minford, New Boston, Northwest, Valley and Wheelersburg, used payroll deductions of anywhere from $1 to $25 per paycheck to build their scholarship funds.

The Scioto Foundation’s UCAN project, launched in the fall of 2008, is a network of partners dedicated to providing financial assistance to every Scioto County student who wants to go to college. Partners include all the Scioto County schools, the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center, Shawnee State University, local businesses and individual donors.

Additional information about the UCAN program and ways to support it may be obtained by contacting the Scioto Foundation at 740-354-4612 or by visiting the SF website at www.sciotofoundation.org.

Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or rottney@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.