Scott Schwaller Memorial Scholarship
Fund For "At Risk" Children

Four years ago, our church in Kansas City started a neighborhood outreach program into a nearby poverty community. I was in charge of the program for children on Wednesday nights, when many of the children from our community outreach started coming to church. I was greatly affected by the behavioral, academic, and emotional issues the children from generational poverty families exhibited. Many of the children just seemed to have a look of hopelessness in their eyes, even at a young age. In realizing that these children were desperate for attention and love, several of our Wednesday night workers started mentoring a few of the children one on one. Months later, the Head of School at a private school where I worked invited two of the children to attend for free. This was the beginning of a fund for "at risk" children: children from generational poverty who are failing in public school and are at risk of dropping out, pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, thus continuing the cycle of poverty. We identify the recipients through our community outreach and children's programming at Holmeswood Baptist Church and provide private school tuition, tutoring, or any other academic help based on individual needs. We have three children in the program right now. Two are in their fourth year at Kansas City Christian School on half tuition and one went to KCCS for a year and then received 200 hours of specialized tutoring for dyslexia. We provide tutoring through Kumon for two of the children as well. We would like to include more children in the program as the need arises.

When our son passed away last week, my sister wanted to set up a scholarship fund in his name. I realized that the reason I was so affected by the needs of children who live in poverty was because of my own journey raising our two children. Our children suffer from ADD, anxiety disorders, and depression, and our son was also considered an "at risk" child in school. In spite of all our personal resources to help our son through his depression, Scott, took his life last week. Scott was always willing to help with the families of children living in poverty. He helped move them, taught them how to use computers (and fixed them regularly), did yard work and home repairs, and helped with transportation. It just seemed appropriate to rename the fund in Scott's name.

--Kim Schwaller, October 31, 2011

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To make a donation by check, please mail or deliver a check made payable to "Scott Schwaller Memorial Scholarship Fund For 'At Risk' Children" to:
Greater Kansas City Community Foundation
1055 Broadway Blvd., Suite 130
Kansas City, MO 64105

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