Bright fifth graders from impoverished, single-parent families are selected with the help of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Mentors are provided by Big Brothers Big Sisters to mentor them from the fifth grade through college. Funds are set aside in a Columbus Scholars Fund at the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley, Inc. to provide supplemental funding to help meet their college needs.
Using existing groups and resources, Columbus Scholars does not have administrative staff. Mandatory monthly enrichment sessions provide additional education and other cultural opportunities. A mandatory summer program teaches additional skills.
This weekend a group of local students are being rewarded for all their hard work in school. The Columbus Scholars Project and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley hosted their 9th annual Scholarship “Signing Ceremony” on Saturday. Nine academically talented fifth grade students were awarded $7,500 each in college scholarships. The goal of the program to make college possible for Muscogee County students who have outstanding academic records but come from difficult family or financial circumstances.
These students will also be able to participate in a long-term mentoring program with college students, all of whom are also former Columbus scholars. Leaders say this gives them a better idea of what college is really like now and how to prepare. Muscogee County School District Superintendent David Lewis was this year’s guest speaker. The scholarship program is a collaboration with The Columbus Scholars Project (CS) and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Chattahoochee Valley (BBBSCV).
View WTVM coverage of the story here.