At least 25 students from the Philadelphia area who would otherwise be unlikely to get college degrees are getting full four-year scholarships at Elizabethtown College thanks to a $500,000 donation.
The donation was given to the college on Tuesday, Sept. 18, from the Goals & Assists Foundation, a partnership between the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and Give Something Back.
Robert Carr, president of the Goals & Assists Foundation, said he started a scholarship program in 2003, but that was a more traditional type of scholarship. It was offered to high-achieving students who lacked the financial means to pay for college.
“Frankly, those kids were all going to college without our help,” Carr said, though they probably would have graduated with a lot of debt without the scholarships.
The Goals & Assists Foundation aims to reach out to young people who likely would not go to college at all, or who would be at risk of dropping out of college if they did go. Carr said it is important to focus on young people whose parents are incarcerated,young people in foster care and those from homeless families.
Elizabethtown College President Carl J. Strikwerda said the college will work with students from nontraditional backgrounds. He said Elizabethtown aims to be an A-plus college for B students.
“We challenge them; we help them reach farther; we help them develop talents they didn’t know they had and we help them achieve their dreams,” Strikwerda said.
Snider Hockey President Scott Tharp said the foundation picked Elizabethtown College at the recommendation of Steve Capoferri, who serves on the board of the foundation. Capoferri is an alumnus of Elizabethtown College and suggested to Tharp that it would be a good partner. Hearranged for Tharp to meet with Strikwerda and George Walter, the college’s interim vice president for enrollment management.
“From the moment I was greeted by them I was sold — this is the perfect landing place for our kids,” Tharp said. He said he was particularly impressed with the college’s efforts to ensure students graduate within four years, since students from nontraditional backgrounds are likely to drop out of college if they ever go in the first place.
“I don’t think we’re going to let that happen,” Tharp said, getting applause.