“The class of 2021 is going to take a hit, too, when it comes to our scholarship program because of fundraising,” FEF Director Allison Miller said.
Many of the foundation’s fundraising events typically done in person will look differently this school year, Miller said. FEF recently celebrated its 20th year of offering scholarships, teacher grants and programs to the FISD community.
The FEF Gary Burns 5K and Fun Run, a major fundraising event for the foundation, will be done virtually this year, Miller said.
When the coronavirus pandemic arrived in the spring 2020 semester, FEF initiated a fundraising campaign for the class of 2020. In total, $685,000 of both foundation and corporate scholarships went out to 784 FISD students.
“We’re hoping that the community will continue what they’ve started this spring for the class of 2020 when it comes to our scholarship program for class of 2021,” Miller said.
Some of FEF’s annual programming also shifted in the spring. The weeklong summer program Mindbender Academy hosted around 200 students through a virtual platform and at reduced costs.
FEF President Sunitha Cheruvu said the foundation will continue adjusting programs as necessary this school year.
“When we talk about adapting and innovating, those are the kinds of things we’re going to continue to do,” she said of Mindbender Academy.
Cheruvu said the foundation is aiming to raise at least $175,000 in scholarships this year to meet a wide range of needs within the district.
“We have to be able to adapt to what’s going to be coming up, whether it’s our teachers or our students trying to bring up the next great entrepreneurial idea or those others trying to reach for higher education,” she said.
Fundraising will “directly impact” scholarship amounts this year, Miller said. The foundation’s minimum scholarship is $500.
Those interested in donating towards scholarships or specific programs can do so online at www.friscoisd.org/departments/frisco-education-foundation/donate-online.
The community can also support FEF on North Texas Giving Day on Sept. 17.
“It definitely takes the whole city, not just a village, to make this happen for all of our FISD students,” Cheruvu said.