The goal of our scholarship program is to broaden educational opportunities of low-income children living in the Salt Lake Valley by offering educational options normally denied them because of costs. Our scholarship program began in 2008 as a partnership between the Guadalupe and McGillis schools, with four Guadalupe School students receiving full scholarships to attend the 4th through 8th grades at McGillis.
It grew out of the McGillis School's mission to teach children to give to others, so children of all backgrounds can learn to work together and contribute to society; and to achieve their full potential by encouraging their pursuit of both their individuality and their appreciation of diversity. In addition to the individual students' growth, we believe that the larger McGillis, Guadalupe, and Salt Lake Valley community benefit from the sharing of diverse backgrounds.
Tuition Assistance and Scholarships
Tuition assistance and scholarships are traditionally reserved for students at the college level, but often scholarships to secondary schools are of no help to children who are under-educated early in their academic careers. The scholarship program sprang from the recognition that quality education can break the cycle of poverty and that the early years are crucial to building the foundation of a child's education.
Currently, the majority of our scholarships are for students from Guadalupe, a school that provides economically disadvantaged children educational services from birth through fifth grade. The scholarships are for selected students to attend McGillis, an independent nonprofit school whose small class sizes, individualized attention to student needs and learning styles, create a learning environment in which students from many different backgrounds succeed and achieve their optimum performance.
Prior to completion of the 8th grade, efforts are made to help transition the students into local high schools and obtain financial assistance at these schools, if needed.
To qualify for a scholarship, students must demonstrate their ability to succeed at McGillis by undergoing the same admission assessment as other potential students. Parent involvement is key to the success of this partnership. Targeted outreach and support developed in coordination with the McGillis School Parent Association help the students and families become part of the larger school community. As with all new in-coming students, parents are assigned a "mentor" family to assist with the transition. Attention is given to any language barriers that may exist by matching mentors who speak the parent's primary language. Additionally, funds are made available to support student involvement in school trips and extracurricular activities.
The scholarship includes tuition, lunch and activity fees. The forecasted cost for a student to attend 4th through 8th grades at The McGillis School is approximately $60,000. McGillis is committed to on-going support of this scholarship program. In addition the scholarship program received generous contributions from the Ruth Eleanor & John Ernest Bamberger Foundation, the R. Harold Burton Foundation, and individuals and corporations.