news | November 16, 2020

Humana gives $1 million to fund scholarships for JCPS students

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Humana announced today a $1 million gift to Evolve502 to fund scholarships that make two years of tuition-free postsecondary education available for Jefferson County Public School (JCPS) graduates.

Humana’s gift allowed Evolve502 to complete its goal of raising $7.5 million, unlocking the first half of a challenge from the C.E. and S. Foundation to secure a $2.5 million grant. With a total of more than $10 million now raised and the challenge completed, Evolve502 can offer its scholarship guarantee to all eligible students currently attending JCPS high schools (Classes of 2021-2024). 

Humana’s gift is the largest corporate gift made to Evolve502 to date.

“We’re so thankful to Humana for this generous gift that puts us over the top for our C.E. and S. Challenge. We share a belief that every young person in this community should have equal access to postsecondary education and the necessary supports to ensure success,” said Marland Cole, Evolve502 Executive Director. “At a time of financial uncertainty, high unemployment, and calls for racial justice and equitable opportunity in our city, our scholarship, with support from Humana, offers a source of hope and promise to JCPS students and their families.”

Humana’s gift extends its commitment and long-running support for JCPS students including the recent opening of the JCPS 360° Student & Family Support Center, at Humana.

“Humana is committed to supporting the development of students across Louisville.  We are especially honored to support Evolve502 in its mission to help every JCPS student pursue their dreams and provide more opportunities for education and careers that align with their talents,” said, Alan Wheatley, Humana Retail Segment President.  “I know how important it is to provide these opportunities, having grown up in a lower-income area of the city myself. We must be intentional in our efforts to steer students toward a variety of postsecondary options available to them.”

Evolve502’s goal is to increase college access, support and success for JCPS students who want to attend college or get workforce certifications, including many of Louisville’s most vulnerable students – low-income, historically marginalized, first generation and others who have been left out or left behind. Cost, or perceived cost of post-secondary education, is cited as one of the top barriers that prevent young people from attending college.

The Evolve502 Scholarship allows eligible students to begin postsecondary studies tuition-free at any Kentucky Community and Technical College school or Simmons College of Kentucky to pursue an associate degree or career credential, or take 60 hours of credit before transferring to a four-year university.

Details of the scholarship include:

  • ”Last dollar” scholarship, meaning Evolve502 will fund the difference between federal and state financial aid and university tuition and fees
  • In addition to funding tuition and mandatory fees, Evolve502 scholars whose families earn less than $40,000 annually will be eligible for opportunity grants of $1,000 per semester (maximum $2,000 annually) to assist with other costs of attending college such as books, room and board, transportation etc.

Class of 2021 students can apply now at evolve502.org/scholarship.

The C.E. and S Foundation approved in 2018 a $5 million challenge grant to the community to support Evolve502’s promise scholarship fund. It was broken into two parts: an initial grant of $2.5 million payable when $7.5 million was raised, and a second $2.5 million when an additional $7.5 million is raised.

C.E. and S. Foundation President Carol Jones said she was pleased to see businesses, foundations and private donors come together to meet the challenge by its deadline of November 30th of this year.

“The C.E. and S. Foundation issued this challenge because we want all public school students to have access to postsecondary education,” Jones said. “Evolve502’s guarantee is a way to help Louisville’s children gain this access.  It is our community’s opportunity and obligation to provide education for our youth. We’re especially pleased to see Humana, whose success enabled my parents to form the C.E. and S. Foundation in the first place, step forward with the many other donors to support Louisville’s students, opening the paths to independence and prosperity that education provides. We are excited for the thousands of Louisville children who will benefit from the community stepping up to offer these scholarships.  There’s always room for more friends to join us in this important work, so if you haven’t made your commitment yet, please do so now.”