Jon, the College Scholarship Chairman, tells more below:
"In our neighboring city of Lawrence, only half of the kids graduate from high school. There are many reasons that they don’t graduate from high school - but all of the reasons can be stated in one word, adversity. The smiling faces of our honorees give no indication of the experiences that they have had to endure.
In reviewing the scholarship applications and taking into account things that I know from our personal relationships, I can tell you that collectively, these kids have seen everything. You name it, they’ve experienced it. Things that simply no child should ever have to experience and things that would horrify you. These young adults have managed to overcome their obstacles and challenges, and even thrive.
When you hear about the high school dropout rate in Lawrence, instead of thinking that there are bad kids dropping out, think about the good kids trying to succeed in a bad situation. We celebrate that we are able to give scholarships to such deserving young adults, but what overshadows our gifts, is the fact that these kids have triumphed over the challenges and the odds. "