McClure Foundation grant supports education access for Franklin County students

Innovative program encourages local students to continue education after high school

WINOOSKI (May 21, 2018) – Vermont Student Assistance Corp. will receive a $20,000 grant from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation to continue its successful initiative in Franklin County to increase student participation in dual enrollment, early college and adult technical education programs.

“We thank the McClure Foundation for its continued generous support and commitment to this community and helping local students be successful and establish a bright future,” said Patrick Leduc, vice president of career and education outreach for VSAC. 

We know that many of our youth, especially those in lower-income families and those who may be the first in their family to continue their education, are at risk of not being prepared for the jobs of the future,” Leduc said. “We know that two out of three jobs coming to Vermont will require some training or education after high school. This initiative is helping Franklin County students be prepared for their future careers.”

VSAC works with students at all five Franklin County high schools – BFA Fairfax, BFA St. Albans, Missisquoi Valley Union Middle/High School, Enosburg and Richford –to encourage students to enroll in the education and training opportunities available to them now, while they are in high school.

The program is tailored to the individual needs of each school, from offering personalized counseling to helping students enroll in courses, hosting parent breakfasts, parent night presentations, classroom presentations and coordinating visits to colleges.

Local businesses, organizations and residents have stepped up, too, to provide scholarships to students to take adult technical education courses at both the Cold Hollow Career Center and Northwest Technical Center. In addition, the Franklin-Grand Isle Workforce Investment Board, the Franklin County Industrial Development Corp. and the Northwest Regional Planning Commission see this initiative as directly aligned with its comprehensive economic development strategy, which includes an emphasis on postsecondary education and training.

Initial success is impressive. “We’ve seen a 24 percent increase in Franklin County for dual enrollment by low-income students over the last academic year.” Leduc said. “I am confident we can continue to build a community-based model of success that other Vermont counties can replicate.”

About VSAC – Changing Lives through Education and Training since 1965

Vermont Student Assistance Corporation is a public, nonprofit agency established by the Vermont Legislature in 1965 to help Vermonters achieve their education and training goals after high school. VSAC serves students and their families in grades 7-12, as well as adults returning to school, by providing education and career planning services, need-based grants, scholarships and education loans. VSAC has awarded more than $600 million in grants and scholarships for Vermont students, and also administers Vermont’s 529 college savings plan. Share your VSAC story by email to myVSACstory@vsac.org or submit a video to YouTube. Find us at www.vsac.org or check in on Facebook and Twitter. #changing lives

About J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation

The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation, a supporting organization of the Vermont Community Foundation, envisions a Vermont in which no promising job goes unfilled for lack of a qualified applicant. Since 2008, the McClure Foundation has granted more than $3 million in support of that vision. The Vermont Community Foundation is a family of hundreds of funds and foundations established by Vermonters to serve their charitable goals. It provides the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise to make giving easy and effective. The Foundation also provides leadership in giving by responding to community needs, mobilizing and connecting philanthropists to multiply their impact, and by keeping Vermont’s nonprofit sector vital with grants and other investments in the community. Visit www.vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information.