August 1 , 2007
Students benefit from HOPE Plus
Augusta, Ga. – Sometimes, even a Georgia lottery-funded HOPE Scholarship isn’t enough to take care of all the costs associated with a college education. Tuition and books are covered, but more is typically needed to balance the financial situation of some students at the top of their high school class.
That’s where HOPE Plus comes in. The creation of Vic Mills, CEO of Blanchard & Calhoun Commercial, HOPE Plus is a program that takes eight economically challenged high school graduates from the Augusta area and provides them with what they need to have a successful college experience at Augusta State University. The program incorporates community philanthropists who help fill in the gaps not covered by the HOPE Scholarship. As a result of the program, a valedictorian and salutatorian will get to pursue higher education this fall, something they considered out of reach.
“The kids are still kind of wowed that they can go to college without having to borrow money and go into debt,” says Larry Hornsby, one of the program’s organizers.
The eight students in this year’s program won’t have to worry about expenses like housing, food, school supplies, clothing, health care, and transportation, some things that often get in the way of deserving high school students enrolling in college. But the program also has more than just a financial aim. The students will be housed together at University Village, building a peer support system. They will receive mentoring and financial advice from Dr. Hornsby and will be assigned a part-time campus job to build financial responsibility and work experience.
HOPE Plus is going a long way to help some disadvantaged students succeed, but it also provides a feeling of satisfaction to those lending a helping hand.
“The students feel like they are getting an opportunity that they would not have had, so it’s nice to see the looks on their faces,” says Dr. Hornsby.
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