MILWAUKEE — High school seniors, invited to a Herb Kohl Educational Foundation luncheon in Chippewa Falls on April 3 to honor their selection as Herb Kohl scholars, were stunned and delighted with the surprise announcement that all 2016 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation scholars will receive an additional $2,000 toward their scholarships, effective immediately. Students were notified by the foundation in March that they had been chosen to receive $3,000 scholarships from the foundation; instead their awards will be $5,000.
Herb Kohl asked Heidi Taylor-Eliopoulos, Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District Superintendent, to make the announcement. She learned the news just minutes before the program began. Scholars, their families, and other invited guests greeted the news with enthusiastic applause.
The Kohl Foundation Scholarship and teacher Fellowship program was established by Herb Kohl in 1990. Annually the foundation awards 200 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. In 2015, the program was expanded to include the Leadership Award for outstanding school principals. To date the foundation has awarded $10.2 million to Wisconsin educators, students, and schools.
“We are totally overwhelmed by the generosity and benevolence of the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation,” said Wisconsin Council of Religious and Independent Schools Executive Director Sharon Schmeling. “By increasing the award to $5,000 per student, Herb Kohl is doing even more to help these outstanding students finance their higher education. We are so grateful that Wisconsin is home to such a visionary philanthropist who is rewarding excellence in education so generously.”
“During his time in office and through the creation of the Herb Kohl Foundation, U.S. Senator Herb Kohl has positively impacted the lives of countless Wisconsin residents,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers. “Kohl Foundation awards help bring equity for students wanting to further their learning and educators with student loan obligations. On behalf of the greater education community, I would like to thank Senator Kohl and the Kohl Foundation for their generous increase in awards and continued dedication to our schools.”
“Education is the key to the future of Wisconsin and our nation. I am very proud of the accomplishments of these students and look forward to the great contributions they will make in the future. They’ll make many sacrifices to achieve their educational goals, and I want to help them succeed,” Kohl said.
All scholarships for high school students graduating in 2016 have already been awarded. Herb Kohl Foundation Excellence Scholarship applications for students graduating in 2017 will be available at www.kohleducation.org beginning in September 2016.