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 need—and then support them financially and through mentoring so they can complete college in four years and graduate debt-free.
What’s the catch? There isn’t one, unless you consider it a catch—and I don’t—to 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.
“Give Something Back provides mentoring, college readiness programs, and scholarships to students who face adversity every day but are still academically driven,” Carr told me in an e-mail. “Success 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 ‘give back’ either financially or by becoming a mentor.”
(I love how GSBF requires its scholars to complete their education in four years. That’s what I told my daughter, and that’s what she did.)
Colleges and Trade Schools
The GSBF is seeing success. “Our college graduation rate is 90%; 100% of our alumni are currently employed—they are teachers, doctors, attorneys, and executives. Over 50% are already giving back as mentors.,” Carr told me.
Based in Pennington, New Jersey, and Lockport, Illinois, GSBF receives financial support from individual donors—including 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.
“Without this scholarship, my likeliness of attending college would be slim to none,” 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.