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Greenwood scholarship program nears $5 million goal

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The Greenwood Promise campaign is getting closer to its $5 million goal having raised $4.08 million since the campaign was announced in October, according to campaign organizers.

The Greenwood Promise is a “last money” scholarship, meaning it will pay the remaining tuition and fees after all state scholarships, grants and Pell Grants are included. It is for tuition and fees only and is paid directly to the educational institution. The program is available for students whose primary residences are zoned within Greenwood County school districts 50, 51 and 52.

Greenwood County High School graduates, starting with the Class of 2017, will be eligible for Greenwood Promise dollars. Phase I of the program will begin for qualifying students who enroll in an associate degree program during the fall 2017 semester. Public and private high school and accredited homeschool graduates are eligible to apply.

“As an employer, I know a high school diploma or a GED just won’t cut it anymore,” said Jim Pfeiffer, CEO of Self Regional Healthcare and campaign chairman of The Greenwood Promise. “The Greenwood Promise provides the children in Greenwood a tremendous opportunity they might not have had otherwise to go on and get their degree.”

In addition to boosting the education level in Greenwood, Pfeiffer said the program will boost economic development. He said an increased education level leads to a larger school population and more employable young adults.

According to Karen Long, campaign coordinator, some of the larger donors include Capsugel, pledging $250,000 over five years; Fuji Film, pledging $100,000 over five years; Countybank, pledging $100,000 over five years; an anonymous donation of $1 million; and a Self Family Foundation pledge of $1 million over five years.

“We received one smaller donation from an individual at one of our local retirement communities who sent a donation unsolicited simply by hearing about The Greenwood Promise and reading about it in the paper,” she said.

According to Long, the unsolicited donation is an example of how well-received the Greenwood Promise campaign has been. She said people are seeing the “potential positive ripple effect that The Greenwood Promise can have on all facets of the community.”

“Children are promised an education, which attracts new families, industry and business to Greenwood County,” she said, adding that the scholarship program will help build a skilled workforce, leading to an increase in housing values and a decrease in crime rates.

The scholarship will cover study at Piedmont Technical College or any accredited state-supported technical institution for the first two years or after receiving an associate degree or certificate, whichever comes first. If the major is offered at Piedmont Technical College, then the student must attend Piedmont Technical College to be eligible. If the major is not offered at Piedmont Technical College, then the student may enroll at another eligible two-year educational institution. The degree or course of work must be one that is eligible for the Life Scholarship based on the specific courses, or number of semesters or both.

There are no minimum criteria required for a student to be awarded the scholarship; however, once they receive it, they are required to be a full-time student and maintain a 2.0-grade-point average.

Larger donors to The Greenwood Promise campaign.

Company

Capsugel

Fuji Film

Countybank

Self Family Foundation

*Anonymous

Pledge

$250,000

$100,000

$100,000

$1 million

$1 million

* Dollar amounts listed are pledges over five years, except for the anonymous donation of $1 million.

SOURCE: Karen Long, campaign coordinator, The Greenwood Promise

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-235-5677, ext. 103, or @SCBizTeresa on Twitter.

Reach Teresa Cutlip at 864-235-5677, ext. 103.

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