The McKinney Education Foundation was founded in 1991 to streamline the scholarship search process for McKinney ISD students, MEF Executive Director Ashley Sine said. Thirty years later, the organization has handed out almost $10 million in scholarships to MISD students, and its services have expanded with teacher grants and college advisors at MISD high school campuses, she said.

“[The] MEF comes in to just enhance everything and allow innovative solutions to see if they work,” Sine said.

Sine has been with the MEF since 2007 as one of the its college advisors at McKinney Boyd High School, later moving to executive director. The college advisor program consists of three advisors who provide students with guidance and resources to support higher education at each MISD high school. The advisor also helps students locate and apply for scholarships; write essays for college admission; apply for financial aid and fill out federal student aid forms; and more.

“We can’t award everybody with a scholarship, but we still want them to have a path to college,” Sine said.

Not only do college advisors help students find scholarships, but the foundation also awards its scholarships to MISD graduating seniors. Teacher grants are another way the MEF supports the district by providing funding for innovative programs and ideas that might not be a fit for the district’s budget.

“We’re always looking for new ideas or innovative ideas—something a staff member saw at a technology conference, for example,” Sine said. “We want them to try it in McKinney ISD and see if it works, so we provide them with the opportunity to do so.”