Teachers at the International High School in Propsect Heights are making college dreams a reality through a scholarship fund for immigrant students who do not qualify for financial aid, reports this morning’s Daily News.
Ben van Pelt, a social studies teacher, created the International Dreamers Scholarship Fund after hearing about a gifted student planning to drop out because he couldn’t pay for college.
“It was heartbreaking,” Mr. van Pelt, who has worked in city schools since 2005, told the paper. “These kids work so hard to make it — but they still need help.”
Mr. van Pelt, along with a group of his coworkers, raised $35,394 to help deserving students pay for higher education until their degree is completed. The group’s goal is to raise $40,000 and give a scholarship to at least one student, according to the fund’s website.
The majority of the students at the school are recent immigrants and many do not have the proper immigration papers necessary to receive financial aid.
Three of the school’s 2012 graduates have applied for assistance from the fund — which was created in April — and winners will be chosen this month.
Marcelle Good, another teacher who helped create the scholarship, is aiming to keep the scholarship running for future students as well.
“It’s about the kids at the school, but it’s also about something much bigger,” Ms. Good told The Daily News.