Experts at every level of education and government have been talking about school reform for over 30 years. And while in that time we’ve made some progress, far too many kids are still trapped in schools that don’t work for them. And with the large bureaucracy that our educational system is, dramatic and practical improvements just won’t come soon enough, especially for kids from low-income families. That means too many kids in each new generation will get left further and further behind. In fact, a large number of today’s kids from low-income families will never graduate high school, and that’s completely unacceptable.
Everybody wants school reform. Kids like Javier actually need it.
Let’s face it. Trying to tackle school reform all at once is a pretty daunting task.
But then we realized something — we don’t need to. Instead, if we could help just one child at a time, we’d be able to have real impact starting from day one. And so we set out on a mission. We noticed something that everyone else seemed to overlook. While there were a lot of kids from low-income families failing in their current schools, there were a lot of really great schools with extra capacity. We saw independent schools operating with their own philosophies and teaching styles. Yet, as different as they all were, each excelled with the type of students they served. Maybe the problem wasn’t that there weren’t enough good schools, but rather that low-income families didn’t have a way into these schools. So we decided to change that.
Why wait for others, when we could make a difference ourselves?
This is the philosophy behind ACE Scholarships, a nonprofit organization that raises money from generous donors and then awards financial scholarships to students from low-income families so they can attend the school of their choice. ACE Scholarships has quickly become an educational success story. In fact, since 2000, we’ve awarded over 55,000 scholarships worth over $138M, giving children from low-income families the chance to succeed. And succeed they have, graduating high school with most going on to college.
Who we help
ACE Scholarships works with low-income families from a variety of different circumstances across numerous states. To qualify for an ACE scholarship, a family must meet the income requirements for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Our families have an average income of $43,766 a year.
Schools our recipients attend
90% of the schools our students attend serve inner-city communities.
We major in economics.
ACE Scholarships makes financial and economic sense. It is estimated that a single dropout costs our society $939,000 over the course of a lifetime. So each class of dropouts costs our communities billions of dollars. Funding for public schools has increased by over 300% in the last 45 years. Yet, the academic performance of students has remained virtually unchanged. Kids in elementary and high school today can’t afford to wait any longer for the system to change. Especially when there’s a proven and cost-effective alternative. For about $2,500 a student, ACE can provide a scholarship to a low-income family so their student can get out of a situation where they’re failing and into an environment where they can succeed.
Meet our board members and staff.
Board of Directors
Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle
Chairman, Aspect Energy
President & CEO, Alpha Principal
Partner, Bartlit Beck LLP
Managing Partner, MorningStar Senior Living
Owner, Mike Ward Infiniti, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Fiat
COO, Johnson Financial Group
President, Wealth Management Consultants, Inc.
National Advisory Board
JUDY AND DICK AGEE
Founder & Chairman, Wapiti Energy and Bayou Well Holdings Company
JOY AND DONALD "BOYSIE" BOLLINGER
National Advisory Board Chairman
GOVERNOR JEB BUSH
Honorary National Advisory Board Member
BETH AND JONATHAN CARR
President, Christian Brothers Foundation
PETE AND MARILYN COORS
FRAN AND TERRY COMBS
CEO, Integrated Airline Services
CATHY AND ALEX CRANBERG
Chairman, Aspect Energy, LLC
Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
Founder, Friess Associates
LANE AND BOBBI GRIGSBY Founder & Chairman, Cajun Industries LLC
CHAZ AND SUSAN MUELLER
EDDIE AND LINDA RISPONE
JOHN AND CAROL SAEMAN Colorado
RICK AND SUSAN SCHMITZ
SCOT AND KEELY SELLERS
LISA AND TIM WALSH CEO, Confluence Builders, LLB
LIZ AND CHRIS WRIGHT
CEO, Liberty Oilfield Services, LLC
SINDY BECHERLE National Foundations Manager
JO BRINKERHOFF National Events Manager
ERIK BILLINGER Vice President of Development, Colorado
HANNAH BUNCH REBER Director, ACE Arkansas
TINA BURKE National Development Operations Manager
MIKE COLEMAN Chief Program Officer
KIRSTEN EASTWOOD Program Director of Private Programs
KAREN FARRAND Chief Financial Officer
CATHERINE HENDRIX Alumni & Family Coordinator
RITA HOEFT Controller
JR HOLLAND Vice President of Development, Dallas & Fort Worth
LENNIE JARRATT Data & Evaluation Manager
AJ KUHLE Director, ACE Kansas
MELISSA LANDRY President, ACE Scholarships Louisiana
MIRA MARTINEZ Alumni Liaison
HALLE MATHUES Director of Human Resources
TYEJEREE MCMANUS Alumni Family Engagement Coordinator - LA
BRITTANI O'BRIEN Vice President, Development - CO
JAKE PENWELL Vice President, Development - MT & WY
JENEE PULLIAM Development Coordinator & Engagement Specialist - Houston & San Antonio
NORTON RAINEY Chief Executive Officer
LINDSEY RHODES Tax Credit Program Director
SHELLEY ROGERS President, ACE Scholarships Austin, Houston, & San Antonio
CALLI RULON Events Coordinator
JEFFREY VAN CLEAVE Program Coordinator
LUIS VILLARREAL Chief Alumni Officer