When Bob Carr was a senior in high school in 1963, he received a generous $250 scholarship (a lot of money at the time) to help him with his college expenses. From a family of modest means, Carr was inspired then and there to give back to others when he was in a position to do so.
Give Something Back Foundation
True to his word, Carr started the Give Something Back Foundation to help identify academically ambitious high school students in needâand then support them financially and through mentoring so they can complete college in four years and graduate debt-free.
Whatâs the catch? There isnât one, unless you consider it a catchâand I donâtâto ask students who benefit from the program to give back to the organization in either time (through mentoring) or money.
So far, GSBF is on track to help 3,000 students complete college or trade school without incurring debt.
âGive Something Back provides mentoring, college readiness programs, and scholarships to students who face adversity every day but are still academically driven,â Carr told me in an e-mail. âSuccess for our scholars means graduating in four years with no debt from tuition, fees, and room and board. We ask these college graduates, when they are able, to âgive backâ either financially or by becoming a mentor.â
(I love how GSBF requires its scholars to complete their education in four years. Thatâs what I told my daughter, and thatâs what she did.)
Colleges and Trade Schools
The GSBF is seeing success. âOur college graduation rate is 90%; 100% of our alumni are currently employedâthey are teachers, doctors, attorneys, and executives. Over 50% are already giving back as mentors.,â Carr told me.
Based in Pennington, New Jersey, and Lockport, Illinois, GSBF receives financial support from individual donorsâincluding Tony Robbins, the noted life coach and author.
The organization partners with 17 universities or trade schools in five states. Scholars must attend one of the partner schools. It also partners with First Star, a community-based organization that supports higher education for foster children; and Mentor, the national mentoring organization.
âWithout this scholarship, my likeliness of attending college would be slim to none,â says Jayson A., a scholar quoted on the GSBF website.
To learn more about the work of GSBF, to sign up to be a mentor, or to donate, visit its website.