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Carson Scholars Fund
The Carson Scholars Fund was founded in 1994 by world-renowned Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin S. Carson and his wife, Candy. The vision for the Carson Scholars Fund came from the Carsons’ observation that many school display cases were filled with large trophies paying tribute to their teams’ sports achievements, while honor students traditionally received a pin or certificate. Then, after reading a research study stating that students in the United States ranked 21 out of 22 countries - next to the bottom of the list - in science and math, the Carsons’ felt alarmed and compelled to take action.

The crisis needed to be addressed. The concept was simple, yet unique. Students in 5th grade who had at least a 3.75 grade point average and demonstrated strong humanitarian qualities would be recommended by school officials to apply for $1,000 scholarships. If a student won a scholarship, it would be invested for his or her college education until graduation from high school and they would be designated as a Carson Scholar. Winners could reapply for recognition annually as long as they maintained their GPA. The awards would be paid directly to the four-year accredited institution of higher learning, on their behalf.

The Carson Scholars Fund was implemented in Lee County in 2009, due to the generosity of philanthropist, Dr. Bill Frey and other community members. Each year, a 5th grade student from every elementary school in Lee County is awarded a Carson Scholarship. There are currently 20 permanently endowed elementary schools in Lee County. The Foundation holds a matching fund for donations toward an individual scholarship or a permanent endowment for schools. The goal of Dr. Frey and the Foundation is to permanently endow all 50 elementary schools in the School District of Lee County. Call the Foundation for information on how you can support a student. Call the Foundation for information on how you can support a student.

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