The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools' Academy of Teachers have launched a new scholarship program to educate one Lee County high school senior interested in becoming a teacher.
The program is called the Golden Futures Scholarship. It was proposed by the county's six Golden Apple winners of 2013 and won the support of the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools, which is in the early stages of raising money to fund the scholarship.
"We feel it is imperative to support and cultivate the future of our profession," said 2013 Golden Apple recipient Morgan Wright. "More significantly, we feel a duty to inspire current Lee County students aspiring to a career in education and ensure future students have outstanding teachers."
The scholarship comes with four years of tuition paid to attend Edison State College. Upon graduation, the scholarship recipient must complete a minimum of four years of service with the Lee County District School system.
"Last year's winners wanted to do something to give back to the community and they decided on a scholarship," said Alicia Miller, director of scholarships for the Foundation for Lee County Public Schools. "Any current senior can apply. It is not based on ACT scores, grades or other limitations."
Applicants must exhibit the qualities of educational leadership and demonstrates a passion to teach.
Scholarship applications are now available through high school guidance offices. Applications need to be completed and filed with the Foundation's offices no later than Jan. 31, 2014. The six Golden Apple winners will review the applications and identify three finalists that will be interviewed by Feb. 18.
The first recipient of the Golden Futures Scholarship will be named in mid-March and subsequently recognized as a guest of honor at the 27th annual Golden Apple Teacher Banquet on April 11, 2014.
"Members of the Academy of Teachers are volunteering their time to mentor the recipient and provide guidance throughout their four years in college," said Miller. "To become a teacher you have to complete so many hours in the classroom and the Academy teachers will work with the student to get them that time in their own classrooms."
The Academy of Teachers consists of all Golden Apple recipients from 1987 to present.
"We don't really have an idea about how many applications we will receive, but we don't think it will be thousands," said Miller. "That's because there is only one recipient each year and they accept going to Edison and work four years with the Lee County schools."