KC Scholars Announces Adult Learner Surprise Live In-Person & Zoom Awards


Member News

KC Scholars paves Pathways to Possible by offering multiple postsecondary completion support programs – with participants entering the program at 9th and 11th grades and as returning Adult Learners age 24+ and now, through stackable credits (short-term certificates accompanied by 3+ college credits). The impact of KC Scholars continues to be felt throughout the Kansas City Metro. 

On Thursday, Dec. 16, KC Scholars (kcscholars.org) awarded 74 deserving Adult Learner scholarships that will springboard into a total of 200 new academic Adult Learner scholarship awardees this year. KC Scholars has given out a total of 856 Adult Learner Awardees since its inception. To celebrate, KC Scholars hosted live in-person surprise events for Adult Learner awardee Jarrod McDaniel at Lee Tolbert Academy who hopes by working in education he can be a role model for kids to see a strong black male leader with a degree and Tiffany Wallgren at the Community Services League who is pursuing a degree in HR Management.   The goal is to share the importance of how investing in those who otherwise would not have the opportunity for higher education makes a difference in the economy for our community

To be eligible for the KC Scholars Adult Learner scholarship, returning adult learner awardees must be age 24 and up, live in one of the six eligible counties (Wyandotte, Johnson, Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte), be low-to modest-income, have previously earned at least 12 college credits at an accredited, Title IV, postsecondary institution and has not earned a degree OR has previously earned an associate degree and will use the scholarship to earn a bachelor’s degree. For awardees, their dream of completing a college education will become a reality.

The KC Scholars program’s ability to support multiple Pathways to Possible – including supporting the returning adult learner population is part of its comprehensive approach. For awards made in 2021, the average age of adult awardees is 37.2, near 70% are female and 70% are first in their family to attend or complete college.  81% are individuals of color, 70% are from Jackson County, 4% are from Cass, 5% from Clay, 13% from Johnson, 8% from Wyandotte and 1% from Platte.  77% had little to no resources to pay for a college education.  On average each Adult Learner awardee has 68 college credit hours previously earned and has a 2.94 average GPA on credits.  Near 100% are employed, over 75% full-time and others in one or more jobs.

“Working in education, I believe it’s important for me to be able to show these kids a strong black male leader with a degree,” stated Jarrod McDaniel, Adult Learner Scholarship Awardee.  “Kids in the school that I currently work at don't have a lot of male influence in their lives. My biggest thing in working with youth is to show them that you can be cool and smart at the same time. It's cool to make good grades and be an outstanding member of society. My goal is to earn a degree in education to continue working with youth.”

“Jarrod consistently expresses wanting more for himself in order to make a bigger impact on and for those around him. Within one of our discussions he said, "It is time for me to make a bigger impact. I can help so many more kids, I just need the credentials to get me in the door." – LaTonya Meeks, Co-worker with Jarrod McDaniel at Lee Tolbert Academy.

The mission of KC Scholars is to increase postsecondary education attainment in the greater Kansas City area.  KC Scholars provides the means – through scholarships, financial incentives to promote college savings, and support services – for low- and modest-income students and adults needing access to pursue and complete a postsecondary credit-bearing credential or degree.  KC Scholars provides the opportunity for college for those that likely would not have otherwise attended or completed.

“KC Scholars is proud that it supports adult learners to return and complete their postsecondary degree – we see this as a way to enrich our regional workforce and to increase college completion rates in our region. In our current economy, supporting adults to upskill and complete a credential that opens doors to opportunity is critically important,” stated Dr. Beth Tankersley-Bankhead, president and CEO of KC Scholars. “. With the support of this program, this region’s Adult Learners can fulfill their dreams!”

In the current economy, multiple pathways to postsecondary completion is critical. Now, more than any time before, supporting opportunity for college matters! We urge the KC community to donate to KC Scholars to ensure that this region’s students and adults can access postsecondary education in preparation for a career in our region. Support our Scholars by giving online at https://give-to-kcscholars.networkforgood.com/ or sending a check to KC Scholars, 8080 Ward Parkway, Suite 402, Kansas City, MO 64114.  For general information about KC Scholars visit https://kcscholars.org/.