FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 2, 2011, Bluffton, SC—Bluffton Self Help, a United Way of the Lowcountry non profit agency that offers food, clothing and limited emergency financial assistance to working families and residents of Bluffton, announces the launch of a new pilot program to assist eligible residents to enroll in a college program at the Technical College of the Low Country or other local colleges. Participants must demonstrate financial need and currently earn minimum wages.
“We are trying to assist selected residents in the community who, by attending college and completing a technical or college program, will improve their lifetime earning potential and become more self-sufficient, thereby reducing their need of social services,” said Lili Coleman, executive director. “College programs include technical training in welding, HVAC, as well as degreed programs for jobs identified as needed in our local community.” She went on to explain BSH will also support the costs of pre-college placement exams that will result in enrollment in a certified or degreed program.
BSH will be collaborating both with the Technical College of the Lowcountry and the University of South Carolina Beaufort career planning and job placement departments for this pilot program which will support scholarships for up to 12 current or new-to-enroll students. Applicants must complete a scholarship application form and provide proof of financial need, employment, enrollment, residence and citizenship. In addition, a reference letter must be provided. At the conclusion of the course(s) supported with the scholarship, the student must provide proof of completion with a final grade report.
The continuation of this scholarship program will depend on participation and future funding made available by local foundations and organizations. The scholarship concept is to mentor 12 students through their program and add new applicants as space becomes available through degree/program completion or fallout. Bluffton Self Help staff will also be able to assist students to obtain federal and state funding through their participation in Benefit Bank, an on-line program that identifies and applies for social and educational assistance programs.
The Ida Martin Scholarship is named in honor of the founder of Bluffton Self Help, a long-term resident of Bluffton who has dedicated her life to helping her neighbors. Ida Martin has been involved with Bluffton Self Help since the inception of the non profit agency in 1988.
For more information on this scholarship visit blufftonselfhelp.org or call Lili Coleman at 757-8000. ###