Concerned Alums form ‘Adopt a Gator’ Scholarship Fund

Four Dickinson High School 1989 graduates put their Gator spirit to work in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, joining forces to create and promote a scholarship fund specifically for current Dickinson high school students to attend College of the Mainland, either through the Collegiate High School or Dual Credit programs or as entering students next year.

Seeing the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on the City of Dickinson inspired Allison (Farris) Fox, now living in the Washington, D.C., area, to get in touch with some former classmates and get the ball rolling.

“I basically sat in my bedroom in tears because I didn’t have a boat, and I couldn’t give water and I couldn’t deliver food,” she said in a video introducing the effort.

“It really hit me like, there are these kids, juniors and seniors in high school, that are not even telling their parents, 'Hey, what about me? I was supposed to go to college,’ or ‘This is it for me,’ basically thinking that the door has been shut.”

She reached out to Eric Driskell, who now lives in Denver, Stephen Tackett, who now lives in Maine, and Bernie Smiley, who is a professor at College of the Mainland, and they created an earmarked “Adopt A Gator” scholarship fund through the COM Foundation.

They then created a plan for raising significant funds to provide 25 need-based scholarships for students who are enrolled through dual-credit, Collegiate High School (an early college program) or are set to graduate this year with plans to enroll as a traditional college student.

In addition to creating the fund, they are active in promoting it through social media and personal contacts.

Stephen Tackett created an introduction on his blog at GatorsOnlyLater.com (choose the “Adopt A Gator Now!” link).

The fund is entirely for Dickinson students adversely affected by Harvey and enrolled at DHS in 2017-2018 and who attend COM.

It is not a separate foundation, but is a campaign through the COM Foundation. This means that all administrative costs are already covered, so 100 percent of donations goes to benefit students.

Contributions can be given online at www.com.edu/adoptagator.

 


For more information about the fund, call Matthew Busby of the COM Foundation at 409-933-8613 or email mbusbyl@com.edu.

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