The Race For Education has been selected to receive an Assets for Independence grant in the amount of $164,000 from the federal Department of Health and Human Services‚ Office of Community Service. Only 25 such grants were awarded. Assets for Independence projects assist individuals with significant financial need in becoming economically self-sufficient by helping them establish Individual Development Accounts to save for a first home, a business, or higher education. By saving a pre-determined amount of money by their junior year, Race For Education‚s scholarship recipients will receive $2,000 from the AFI grant, on top of their RFE award. The Race For Education, a national non-profit based in Lexington, Ky., awards scholarships to children of horse industry workers and to young people studying for a career in the equine industry. To date, the organization has awarded scholarships to 58 students from 17 states. Fifth Third Bank has agreed to create and administer, at no charge, the IDA accounts of the approximately 70 scholarship recipients RFE hopes to enroll in the project over the next five years. In addition, Fifth Third is donating $5,000 toward the dollar-for-dollar private matching required by the grant. A small portion of the grant will be used to implement an online financial literacy course as part of a curriculum to help its students prepare for graduation. Combined with the scholarship awards, the required financial literacy course should help students reduce the amount of debt they leave college with. In addition, RFE helps students locate internships and prepare for job searches upon graduation. "Our mission is not just to award scholarships and write checks; The Race For Education makes a commitment to each of our students to help them get through college and be prepared for real life afterwards," said Elisabeth Jensen Collier, RFE executive director. "Financial literacy is an important component of our program, and the AFI grant allows us to establish a framework for the administration of the program and adds an additional $2,000 to each of the student's awards."
The Race For Education is a national education scholarship foundation funded by various parties related to, or with an interest in the Thoroughbred racing industry. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization established to improve the quality of life for young people through education, attract younger and better-educated individuals to careers in the Thoroughbred industry, and establish the racing industry as a good citizen. This spring, in only its fourth year in operation, The Race For Education will top the $1 million mark in scholarship awards to students from all over the country.