Frisco Education Foundation scopes out funding as senior scholarship need increases

Image description
FRS-Education Foundation
The Frisco Education Foundation plans to ramp up its fundraising efforts to keep up with Frisco ISD’s growing scholarship needs.

Last school year, the foundation awarded nearly $680,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors in eight FISD high schools, Frisco Education Foundation President Sunitha Cheruvu said. With Lebanon Trail and Memorial high schools welcoming their first senior classes in the 2019-20 school year, the Frisco Education Foundation will need to find scholarship funds to assist seniors at 10 FISD high schools.

“The need is definitely there,” Cheruvu said. “And as we grow—as our schools grow—our need for our city and our kids and our future is going to continue to grow.”

In the 2018-19 school year, the foundation received 1,432 scholarship applications from seniors, nearly a 4% increase from the year before. Of those applicants, 719 received scholarships—a rate of just over 50%.

In addition to scholarships for graduating seniors, the Frisco Education Foundation awards teacher grants and funds a variety of educational programs. The foundation raises funds through an annual 5K & Fun Run held in November, a weeklong summer camp called Mindbender Academy, corporate sponsors and personal donations.

“I know that we need to raise the bar on our fundraising,” former Frisco Education Foundation President Geneva Polster said.

The base scholarship is $500, but the foundation aims to raise that amount as college tuition and fees get more expensive, Polster said.

“We would love to raise the amount of scholarships if we could,” Polster said. “Because money doesn’t go as far as it used to, and our scholarship amounts have stayed the same.”

Between 2008-09 and 2018-19, average tuition-and-fee prices rose by $930 at public two-year colleges, by $2,670 at public four-year colleges and by $7,390 at private, nonprofit four-year colleges and universities, according to a report by College Board’s annual survey of colleges.

With greater need and the goal of an increased scholarship amount, Cheruvu said the foundation has yet to quantify the amount needed for this school year. However, the foundation will push for November’s fun run to be bigger than before by getting more people to sign up, she said.

“[The fun run is] one of the ways I think Frisco holds on to its character and who we are as a city,” Cheruvu said.

Additionally, both Polster and Cheruvu said showing the Frisco Education Foundation’s effect on students through marketing will be key to increased funding.

“It’s difficult to get the word out about who we are,” Polster said.

The foundation presented teacher grants at an FISD convocation before the start of the school year for the first time, which Polster said helped show the entire district what the Frisco Education Foundation does.

While the foundation is able to speak about “impressive” statistics, Cheruvu said she wants marketing to be more personalized moving forward into the school year. The foundation will leverage these stories through social media, its e-newsletter and events, she said.

As the foundation strategizes to address the district’s needs, FISD superintendent Mike Waldrip said the Frisco Education Foundation will be able to adjust to the growth.

“They’ve been a crucial part of what we do in our school district,” Waldrip said. “They’re another partner that we’ve had all these years, and they’ve grown with the district, and I think they’ll continue to grow with the district.”

As the 2019-20 school year progresses, Polster said the foundation will continue searching for additional ways to increase funding to accommodate Lebanon Trail and Memorial high schools’ graduating seniors.

“People don’t think Frisco has a financial need for our students, but we do,” Polster said. “And they’d be surprised by that, but our goal is to figure out how to raise those funds so we can help more students.”
By Elizabeth Ucles

Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


UT Southwestern/Texas Health Frisco was recognized as 2019 Developer of the Year. (William C. Wadsack/Community Impact Newspaper)
Frisco Chamber presents business, community awards as part of 50th anniversary gala

More than 600 of Frisco’s business and community leaders turned out for the gala, which also served as a 50th anniversary celebration for the chamber.

The coffee chain offers a variety of coffee, espresso and tea drinks. (Cassidy Ritter/Community Impact Newspaper)
Starbucks to open in Frisco near US 380

The free-standing drive-thru location will open in this fall.

The company is a Frisco-based startup. (Courtesy OneNeighbor)
OneNeighbor expands service area, opens Frisco office

The company is looking to expand into Prosper, Flower Mound, Aubrey and Southlake in the next two to four months.

dog running
Easyvetclinic now offering walk-in pet care in Frisco

The pet clinic opened on Stonebrook Parkway.

creative writing  center interior
Write On Creative Writing Center to open in Frisco this March

The writing center will host open houses Feb. 22, 26 and 29.

Patrick Rohan has been named chief executive officer of Medical City Frisco, effective March 1. (Courtesy Medical City Frisco)
Patrick Rohan named CEO of Medical City Frisco

Rohan has been chief operating officer of both Medical City Frisco and Medical City Plano since 2017.

Frisco City Council authorized an agreement to reimburse Blue Star Frisco Events $244,499 for costs related to the League of Legends 2020 League Championship Series Spring Finals. The event is set for April 18-19 at The Ford Center at The Star in Frisco. (Lindsey Juarez Monsivais/Community Impact Newspaper)
Blue Star fronts costs to bring major esports competition to Frisco

Frisco will host a major esport championship series in April with some help from Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones’ Blue Star Frisco Events.

Texadelphia closed its Frisco location last year after almost six years of business at its location. (Courtesy Texadelphia)
Texadelphia closes Frisco location

After almost six years of business at this location, the restaurant closed due to high rent and increased labor expenses, according to the owner.

Belle Vous Beyond Nail Spa is located in the Starwood Village shopping center. (Courtesy Malcolm Garret/Pexels)
Belle Vous Beyond Nail Spa now under new ownership

Located in the Starwood Village shopping center, the nail salon offers a variety of manicures and pedicures.

Pediatrics R Us is expected to open mid-March at 255 Lebanon Road, Ste. 324, Frisco. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Pediatrics R Us slated to open in Frisco in mid-March

The pediatric clinic will offer services for general health, prevention, wellness, childhood immunizations, sports physicals, behavioral concerns, chronic conditions, flu vaccines and travel medicine.

EDGE Physical Therapy moves to new Frisco location

The physical therapy clinic offers therapy services to manage pain, prevent further injury and provide pre- and post-surgical aid.

Back to top