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The Executive Director’s 2013 Plan of Action
The Sounds of Praise Pentecostal Fellowship Ministries National Scholarship Program is dedicated to promoting and supporting EDUCATION among our future leaders. We believe that it is absolutely essential to make a signiﬁcant investment in the next generation and to help them to achieve their goals. As the new Executive Director of the National Scholarship Program, Roneka Matheny has decided to make some important changes to better serve the youth of our churches and communities. She calls the new initiative OPERATION COLLEGE BOUND. In the past, the CYC Scholarship Fund has focused its efforts on awarding graduating high school seniors with ﬁnancial scholarships. While this is important, the Operation College Bound initiative represents a more holistic approach. It will be a comprehensive support system that helps students at all levels to succeed: • First, we must encourage our students to achieve and reward their success. We will do this with a SOUNDS OF PRAISE NATIONAL HONOR ROLL. Elementary and middle school students who have received ALL A’s and B’s throughout the entire 2012-2013 school year and high school and college students with at least a 3.5 GPA for the 2012-2013 school year will be honored at the 2013 Youth Conference. Their names will appear on a commemorative plaque, which will be on display, and they will receive a ﬁnancial reward. This will let our students know that their church and their community really want them to study hard and earn good grades and that they will be rewarded for it. Potential honorees must submit copies of their report cards or transcripts to the National Scholarship Program by June 15. • Next, we must provide students with real-world examples of what success looks like. Too many students in our communities will never set foot on a college campus until they are blessed enough to be admitted to one. We will ﬁx this with COLLEGE TOURS. Groups of churches will co-sponsor trips to colleges and universities in their area for high school students in their communities. For example, on February 18, 2013, the churches in the South Carolina Lowcountry that wish to participate will visit the University of South Carolina in Columbia. During these visits, our students will have the opportunity to meet and interact with college students, hear from professors, admissions counselors and ﬁnancial aid ofﬁcers, and turn the broad goal of going to college into a concrete reality. • Next, we must give students the information that they will need to succeed. Too many students in our communities want to go to college, but have no idea how to get there. Unfortunately, high school guidance counselors can not always provide these students with enough support to meet their goal. This leaves these students unprepared
to compete with classmates from families that can afford private tutors, Kaplan SAT Prep courses, and other expensive advantages. We will level the playing ﬁeld by providing our students with OFFICIAL COLLEGE BOARD BOOKS and INDIVIDUAL STRATEGY SESSIONS. High school juniors and seniors who apply will receive copies of Get It Together for College and The Ofﬁcial SAT Study Guide. These books will help them navigate the difﬁcult college admissions process and prepare them to take the college entrance exam. Our students will also have the opportunity to discuss their personal academic situation with a representative from the National Department of Education. This representative will look at their transcript and help them to decide what steps they need to take to pursue the career that they want. They will also help them to make sure that they have the right courses and other requirements to attend the type of college that they want to go to. • Finally, we must support our students with ﬁnancial scholarships. Once students have successfully been admitted to the college of their choice, it is our duty to reward them for this achievement and give them the help that they need to continue achieving. At the 2013 Youth Conference, FINANCIAL SCHOLARSHIPS will be awarded in the following categories: • Graduating high school seniors • Current college students • Graduate or professional school students (adults are eligible) In order to be eligible for one of these scholarships, students must complete the appropriate online application at www.facebook.com/SOPScholarships. All applications must be submitted by June 1. The amount and number of these ﬁnancial scholarships will depend on how much the National Scholarship Program raises. Our goal is to give more money to more students than we have ever given before, but we can not do it without your help. We have applied for several grants. We are pursuing sponsorships from local businesses and organizations, and I am planning several fundraisers, but the Sounds of Praise can not expect for others to support our youth if we do not support them ourselves. We are encouraging every member, every parent, every youth leader, and every pastor to donate to the National Scholarship Program so that we can make Operation College Bound a success. Every little bit helps! You can donate online at www.facebook.com/SOPScholarships OR you can mail donations to SOP National Scholarship Program, PO Box 3341, Summerville, SC 29484. Please make all checks payable to “SOP National Scholarship Program.” Please contact Executive Director Roneka Matheny with any comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Special thanks to our National Scholarship Program Treasurer Deacon Elton Morrison and Secretary Sister Vi Matheny.