The Inclusive Economy
CFED Launches Child Savings Accounts Program in Michigan
By Stephanie Halligan on 05/31/2012 @ 10:00 AM
CFED is pleased to announce the launch of the LINC Future Fund: Scholarship and Accounts Program in Grand Rapids, MI, on May 31, 2012 at four elementary schools in the Grand Rapids Public School District. LINC Community Revitalization Inc. is joining CFED and Huntington Bank to bring scholarships and college savings accounts to kindergarteners enrolled at Campus, Campau, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Caesar Chavez elementary schools in Grand Rapids.
The program will launch with a press conference Thursday, May 31 at 10:30am at Campus Elementary. Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell, Interim-Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal, Renee Williams of Huntington Bank, and LINC’s Co-Executive Directors Jeremy DeRoo and Darel Ross will share remarks. Three-hundred LINC Future Fund Scholarships & Accounts will be made available to current GRPS kindergartners at Martin Luther King Leadership Academy, Campus, Campau and César E. Chávez Elementary schools. Next year’s enrolling kindergartners at these schools will also receive a scholarship.
Developed in partnership with CFED and with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Future Fund will the program will establish a scholarship fund linked to a college-savings account at Huntington Bank for each participating child. LINC will offer financial coaching and support to families through their Opportunity Center and Huntington will be providing in class educational supports, teaching children the importance of saving and offering tools to use in saving money.
“We have a model with a place to start and hope that this is just the beginning for future collaboration around our children’s education,” says Jeremy DeRoo, LINC’s Co-Director. Research shows that children with savings accounts in their own name are six times more likely to attend college than their peers. Through this pilot program, the partnership seeks to expand opportunities for low-income children and families to accumulate assets and increase children’s college-going aspirations.
Each school will host a Scholarship Party to celebrate with kindergartners and their families, the first will be held at Campus Elementary following the press conference on May 31.
The Future Fund seeks to address the gap in higher educational attainment affecting low income students in Michigan, and to incentivize the recruitment and retention of children in the Grand Rapids Public School system. The program will help children create a financial nest egg, increase economic opportunity, and transform their aspirations for their own futures, including plans for college.