Economically Disadvantaged Students

Daniella Parra, a Johnson Scholar of Grantee Partner Palm Beach Atlantic University

Our purpose is to help economically disadvantaged students pursue and achieve success in education so that they can obtain meaningful employment. Our programs to serve that purpose are focused on scholarships.

The Foundation has developed a broad spectrum of scholarship programs. Most of them are leveraged by matching funds (sometimes as much as 4 to 1) and, where available, government grants. Some programs seek to reach students in middle or high school on the theory that preparation and mentoring are necessary if these students are to succeed at the post-secondary level. Others are direct scholarship programs at the university level.

The Foundation’s university and college scholarships to students in financial need are offered at Palm Beach Atlantic University, Sonoma State University, and the University of Florida, among others. The Foundation also provides scholarships for dependents of UPS employees who attend postsecondary institutions in Florida.

The Foundation also has funded scholarships and endowment building at Florida’s state (formerly, community) colleges. One innovative project in partnership with the University of Central Florida and several state colleges is the DirectConnect partnership, which allows graduates from those state colleges to go directly to UCF and obtain scholarship support.

Examples of programs that seek to reach middle or high school students are the Johnson Take Stock program in the School District of Palm Beach County, Florida, and Providence St. Mel School in Chicago, Illinois. Both of these seek to engage disadvantaged students with a mentoring and scholarship program aimed at helping them to graduate from high school and attend postsecondary institutions.

JSF Grant Making Strategy

JSF makes grants to organizations that help people overcome barriers to education and employment. Addressing these barriers enables them to graduate and find good jobs, thereby contributing to and enriching their communities.

JSF assists people indirectly by making grants to schools, universities, and non-profits, and funds initiatives such as scholarships, mentoring, tutoring and internships. Grants are focused on three areas: individuals with disabilities, individuals with financial need, and Indigenous peoples.