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 42,000 scholarships worth over $102M, 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 $38,846 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
Founder and President, Westmeath, Inc
Partner, Bartlit Beck LLP
Regional Vice President, Midwest Region, Unum Group
Managing Partner, MorningStar Senior Living
Owner, Mike Ward Infiniti, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, McLaren, Fiat
COO, Johnson Financial Group
(Vice Chair and Secretary)
President, Wealth Management Consultants, Inc.
National Advisory Board
GEOFF AND KENDALL BAILEY
President, The Bailey Company, LLLP
JOY AND DONALD "BOYSIE" BOLLINGER
GOVERNOR JEB BUSH
Honorary National Advisory Board Member
PETE AND MARILYN COORS
CATHY AND ALEX CRANBERG
Chairman, Aspect Energy, LLC
HEIDI AND SENATOR TED CRUZ
Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.
FOSTER AND LYNN FRIESS
Founder, Friess Associates
National Advisory Board Co-Chairmen
LANE AND BOBBI GRIGSBY Founder & Chairman, Cajun Industries LLC
CARRIE AND JOHN MORGRIDGE
Founders, Morgridge Family Foundation
EDDIE AND LINDA RISPONE
JOHN AND CAROL SAEMAN Colorado
RICK AND SUSAN SCHMITZ
LISA AND TIM WALSH CEO, Confluence Builders, LLB
LIZ AND CHRIS WRIGHT
CEO, Liberty Oilfield Services, LLC
JOSH BATTLE National Grants Manager
TINA BURKE Database Manager
ANGELA CHOI Executive Assistant
AIDAH CLINTON Alumni & Family Engagement Manager
LIZ COLE Colorado Development Manager
GINA DIMATTEO Chief Financial Officer / HR Director
ALICIA DRURY Tax-Credit Program Director
ARTHUR DUPRE´ President, ACE Scholarships Louisiana
CARRIE GRABAU Accounting and HR Generalist
ERIN HOFFMAN Development Coordinator - CO
JR HOLLAND Vice President of Development, Dallas & Fort Worth
ROSS IZARD Director of Policy
LENNIE JARRATT Data and Evaluation Manager
BRITTANI JOHNSON Vice President, Development - CO
ALEXANDRA MATTERN Program Coordinator - AR, TX
TYEJEREE MCMANUS Community Outreach & Program Coordinator - LA
CAITLIN MOLL Director of Communications
JOHN OLIVER Chief Program Officer
RAGAN PAPE Events Coordinator
JAKE PENWELL Vice President, Development - MT & WY
JENEE PULLIAM Development Coordinator & Engagement Specialist - Houston & San Antonio
NORTON RAINEY President & CEO
JASON ROBERTS National Communications Manager
SHELLEY ROGERS Vice President, Development - Houston & San Antonio
PHIL SMITH Chief Marketing Officer
FLORIE SULLIVAN Program Coordinator - CO
JONATHAN TEE Chief Operating Officer
DOMINIC WILLIAMS Accounting Manager
SARAH WOLFF Program Director - CO
JASON WOOD Vice President, Development - KS, MO
KATRINA YOSHIDA Policy Engagement Manager