Iron Maidens is thrilled to partner with Grace Outreach to raise money for the 2nd annual Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship to assist low-income women in paying for their college tuition.
The Stay Strong Scholarship was created to send women to college who don’t have access to financial aid. Our goal for the first annual Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship was to raise $20,000 through competitors’ crowd fundraising efforts and we far surpassed it by raising over $30,000. With that money we sent 7 women to college in 2016.
About the Stay Strong Scholarship
Students at Grace Outreach face significant financial barriers to starting college. They are first generation college students who are low-income and working to support their families. There are two primary reasons that many students, despite their determination to attend college, will not be able to pay their tuition:
1. Their residency status bars them from receiving access to federal or state financial aid.
2. They have been the victims of predatory for-profit college contracts that have drained their financial aid.
This scholarship is needed because:
- Students in both financial situations have no access to financial aid dollars and the undocumented students are ineligible for most scholarships.
- Many of these students have been living in the United States their entire lives. While they may be eligible for work permits under the Dream Act, they will receive no money to help them attend college.
- Many students who have graduated from high school or received their High School Equivalency degrees are conned by for-profit colleges into signing contracts that use up all of their allotted financial aid support. Though they don’t earn a degree they are ineligible to receive any more help paying for college at a reputable institution.
Through your efforts, the Iron Maidens Stay Strong Scholarship helps recipients to overcome these financial barriers to continue their pursuit of higher education. Rather than selecting recipients based on common criteria such as grades or academic achievement, this scholarship rewards persistence—the grit and determination to keep going during hard times. We believe this recognizes and addresses the reality our students face, and also captures the essence of the Iron Maidens Competition.
Here are a few more reasons that this scholarship is unique:
- Awards recognize academic commitment and don’t require an entry level GPA in order to be considered.
- Awards are granted on a rolling basis– students who face sudden financial hardship can apply at any time of the year.
- Students are eligible regardless of how many college credits they have accumulated.
- Students are notified within 2 months if they receive an award, and the funds are available immediately.
- Grace Outreach provides ongoing mentorship for scholarship recipients throughout their college years.
About Grace Outreach
Grace Outreach is a community based organization in the South Bronx that provides free education and career services. Grace Outreach students are primarily low income women of color living in the Bronx. They first join Grace Outreach to acquire their high school equivalency diploma. Since its inception Grace Outreach has enabled over 1,100 women to earn their High School Equivalency diploma, 100+ have enrolled in career and technical training programs, and over 200 women have finished Grace Outreach’s College Prep course and matriculated at CUNY colleges. Putting women on track to enroll in college and to earn degrees has been a major focus of Grace Outreach for 8 years.
To learn more about the college access issues this Scholarship addresses, please use the resources below:
For more information about Grace Outreach and the Stay Strong Scholarship, contact Danae McLeod, Associate Executive Director: dmcleod (at) graceoutreachbronx (dot) org