The Frisco Education Foundation is aiming to fill a $70,000 gap to award scholarships to Frisco ISD’s graduating seniors.

The foundation, which is celebrating its 20th year of offering scholarships, teacher grants and programs to the FISD community, experienced revenue shortfalls this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, FEF Director Allison Miller said.

Before the pandemic, the Frisco Education Foundation had planned on awarding the $70,000 now needed for senior scholarships, Miller said. Current scholarship amounts have been reduced in response to revenue dips, she said.

“We were looking at close to 70 students that weren’t going to receive scholarships that would otherwise have received them,” Miller said.

Many typical donors to the foundation rerouted their financial support this year toward COVID-19 response, Miller said.

The pandemic’s impact on programming also played a role in funding dips, FEF President Sunitha Cheruvu said.

Mindbender Academy, a week-long summer program, will now host 200 students instead of its typical 800, and it will do so through a virtual platform and at reduced costs, she said.

“With having to pivot and lower the costs of the programs that we offer with fewer people being able to take them is where some of that shortfall is coming,” Cheruvu said. “That’s why we’re reaching out to our community to help bridge that.”

The foundation is urging the community to consider donating through June 6, Cheruvu said. Donation options are available on the Frisco Education Foundation website and Facebook page and through a mobile platform.

“As funds come in, we will continue to reach out and impact those student lives,” she said.

The foundation’s annual scholarship night has been canceled for this year due to COVID-19, but Cheruvu said the Frisco Education Foundation will personally award scholarships to seniors across FISD with safety-conscious delivery.

Cheruvu said the foundation is aiming to assist this year’s 1,400 applicants as much as possible. As of May 18, a little over $26,000 had been donated towards the $70,000 fundraising goal, according to the foundation’s Twitter account.

“We’re all seeing the impact that’s happening on the class of 2020 with how they’re having to pivot and spend their last few months of their high school career,” she said. “We want to try to bring some of that joy back through this effort.”