EJI and Montgomery Public Schools have announced that EJI will be providing $10,000 college scholarships to scores of public high school graduates in Montgomery, Alabama, over the next three years.
School leaders will identify “Legacy Scholars” at each area public high school to receive a $10,000 college scholarship at graduation beginning this May. Next year EJI plans to provide additional scholarships to students who participate in essay contests that involve reflections on the information presented at the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.
“We are very excited to support the dreams of area students who are working hard and aspire to succeed. I graduated from a public high school after laws mandating racial integration made a high school degree possible,” explained EJI Director Bryan Stevenson. “Different challenges exist today but there are still barriers to education for many deserving students that we want to help eliminate. I continue to believe that education is key to the health and strength of our community.”
Montgomery’s new superintendent, Dr. Melvin J. Brown, met with EJI leadership last year and began discussing ways that the two institutions could provide more opportunities to teachers, staff and students. After a day-long planning session, scholarships for graduating students emerged as one of the ways EJI could assist area students. Staff and teachers will also work with EJI staff and professionals on a range of issues and topics that MPS staff identify as critical.
“Our partnership with EJI has already proved to be invaluable, and the Legacy Scholars initiative will have a huge impact on the lives of some very deserving students. Our goal is to provide equity, access, and opportunity to all our students, and EJI is helping us achieve that objective,” Dr. Brown said.
MPS staff and teachers have already started using EJI’s sites as destinations to help educate, inspire, and engage students in various courses of study. The plan is to develop even more opportunities for students and teachers to strengthen educational preparedness.
EJI is committing a million dollars to scholarships for graduating Montgomery public high school students over the next three years as an extension of its anti-poverty initiative, which is now providing direct services to hundreds of families experiencing food insecurity across the state and providing free health care to people recently released from jails or prisons.