By Beth Taylor
The annual Dollars for Seniors telethon, hosted by the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation, runs for two weeks beginning Feb. 3. More than 125 local high school seniors from Fishers High School and Hamilton Southeastern High School will participate in this scholarship program by making phone calls to community residents to request donations.
“It’s funny—as a community we often pit Fishers and HSE against each other, but this program has seniors from both schools. There’s a nice comradery there,” said Freedom Kolb, executive director of the Hamilton Southeastern Schools Foundation.
The need for scholarship support continues to rise as tuition costs increase. Many students delay college entry or drop out to avoid incurring educational debt.
However, the benefits of earning a college degree are measurable. Unemployment rates for high school graduates are about 90 percent higher than people with bachelor’s degrees and those with a bachelor’s degree earn about $24,000 more annually than their high school counterparts. The perks continue beyond finances with increased reports of job satisfaction, overall health and personal development among college graduates.
The program has recently expanded to include a learning component for students. Seniors taking part are now expected to study the needs of the HSE school district and the role of the foundation in addressing those needs. “We want the students to learn a little bit about local philanthropy,” said Kolb. Seniors will then apply what they have learned through the telethon.
“Scholarship funds offer hope to both students and their families, increasing their opportunity for not only academic success, but for future financial self-sufficiency. And since, our local students are future community leaders, adding the philanthropic learning component was a natural fit,” said Kolb.
Residents’ phones will start ringing on Feb. 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12. For more information regarding scholarships or how to get involved, please visit www.hsefoundation.org