Posted May 12th, 2016
As the Pleasant Valley School District continues to grow, so does the generosity of the community. On Wednesday, May 11, those who’ve endowed scholarships through the Pleasant Valley Educational Foundation awarded 79 scholarships to 79 PVHS seniors.
The night is emotional, as students are rewarded for years of hard work and determination. It’s also emotional as students hear the donors stories, why they’ve chosen to honor a PVHS student in the memory of a loved one, as a business giving back to its community or a family showing gratitude for what PV has offered them. Stories of love and life inspired PVHS students to make a difference in the world.
“You don’t need to have a lot in order to give a lot,” Jeff Paul, founder of the iHope foundation, said to the students and their families. Mr. Paul established his scholarship after his grandmother passed away. She’d left him a few thousand dollars and his family decided to use the money for others, starting by paying for student’s dinners on homecoming night or picking up the tab for a stranger’s coffee. Mr. Paul teaches at Pleasant Valley Junior High and noticed some of his students didn’t have the support they needed outside of the classroom. He spoke of a student who brought in the day’s assignment soaking wet, because rain came through her roof. His family decided to buy the student an ipad and quickly saw how much the simple gesture changed that student’s work ethic and confidence. So, he decided he could do more and started raising money. He’s now raised tens of thousands of dollars thanks to winnings from his Iron Man competitions and local businesses. Every year he gives a student an ipad, with the promise of a $1,000 scholarship when they graduate.
Mr. Paul’s story is just one of dozens behind the PV Foundation’s scholarship program. The Foundation’s goal is to one day provide a scholarship for every deserving graduating senior. Scholarships come from families, businesses, and most recently, Run With Carl. The PV Foundation and Bettendorf Community Schools Foundation organize the race with proceeds benefiting students. Because of the Run with Carl, the PV Foundation added five new scholarships this year, and plans to add more with the coming success of the Labor Day race. (sign up to Run with Carl at www.runwithcarl.com)
These scholarships directly beneift PVHS students and will for years to come. New research shows less than 5% of Quad City students who do not start a post-secondary program immediately after high school will not complete a program, whether it’s a four-year degree or a vocational program. The Foundation scholarships are a powerful message of support and encouragement to our graduates.
If you are interested in contributing to or volunteering for the Foundation, please email our secretary Beth Marsoun at email@example.com