The Clarke Community Dollars for Scholars has proudly supported higher education for Clarke graduates for 15 years.
Clarke Community Dollars for Scholars is a nonprofit organization that supports academic success in the community. As part of Scholarship America’s® national network of locally based, volunteer-driven Dollars for Scholars chapters, the mission of Clarke Community DFS is to mobilize our community on behalf of post-secondary education success for Clarke students.
The Clarke Community chapter was started with a $250 scholarship won in a raffle by David Walkup, the high school principal at the time. With that prize, the Dollars for Scholars program was started and has grown each year since. The original DFS board began fundraising at local rodeos, fairs and other events in the community by selling shaved ice. Within a few years, they expanded to a trailer and continued the fundraising, growing little by little as each year passed.
Throughout the years, several different fundraising efforts have been utilized, such as adding strawberry smoothies to the shaved ice menu and raffling a Harley Davidson motorcycle in 2005. About ten years ago, the Clarke DFS board approached the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC) for an endowment grant. The CCDC was able to start a fund-matching agreement with the DFS board that has been renewed more than two times, growing into a substantial endowment for Clarke Community Schools students.
Through the hard work of the Clarke Community DFS and the generosity of the community as well as the CCDC, every student who completes a Dollars for Scholars application has received a scholarship over the last 15 years. Including the 2017 recipients, the Clarke DFS chapter has been able to award nearly $140,000 in scholarships to 410 students since its beginning in 2002. Each scholarship beneficiary receives the same dollar amount to put toward higher education, regardless of financial need or academic standing. The only requirement is the completion of the application and graduation from Clarke Community Schools. Through Dollars for Scholars, each scholarship has the potential of being matched if the student attends a DFS Collegiate Partnership school, such as Southwestern Community College. For a complete list of 2017 Collegiate Partners, please visit the Dollars for Scholars website (http://www.clarkecommunity.dollarsforscholars.org/).