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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Carson Scholars Fund, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Literacy, Remedial Reading & Encouragement, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: The goal of the Carson Scholars Fund is to address the problem of academic underachievement by motivating young people to strive for academic excellence and to use their intellectual and leadership skills to contribute to society. The objective of the Ben Carson Reading Project is to enhance existing curricula/practices and to give a school an opportunity to create an environment to engage children in independent reading and to help them develop a love for reading at an early age.

Results: The scholarship program started in 1996 with 25 scholars in 3 states. Today, we have over 8,300 scholars in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2000, the Ben Carson Reading Project has established over 198 Reading Rooms in 22 states and the District of Columbia.

Target demographics: Carson Scholarships are awarded to United States students grades 4-11. Reading rooms are predominantly built in elementary schools, across the country.

Direct beneficiaries per year: We award scholarships to students in grades 4-11 who maintain a 3.75 GPA and are involved in community service. Our reading rooms build libraries in schools that otherwise may not have funding for a library or a full-time librarian.

Geographic areas served: United States of America

Programs: The Carson Scholars Fund offers scholar awards to students as early as the fourth grade. Awards are based on academic achievement and humanitarianism, regardless of financial need. Carson Scholars are honored at an annual awards banquet, where they receive personalized medals, certificates, peer recognition and a large trophy for their school, which lists names of the award winners. In addition to providing scholarships, the Carson Scholars Fund has established over 198 reading rooms in 22 states and Washington, D.C. The Ben Carson Reading Rooms provide a safe haven for students to discover the joy of independent reading.

Community Stories

79 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carson Scholars are recognized all over the country! It is one of the best nonprofit organizations where funds go directly to the heart of its mission and not to overblown administrative cost. Carson Scholars helps students achieve their goals of a college education while encouraging its scholars to continue serving their communities through volunteerism and making the world a better place. Carson Scholars encourages the love of reading through its many Carson Reading Rooms in schools across the country. The Carson Scholars Foundation knows that reading is a necessary ingredient to be successful at all educational levels. 4X Carson Scholar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am immensely proud to serve as a volunteer for the Carson Scholars Fund. It provides encouragement and support for students all over our great country. The very heavy lifting done by the Carson Family and the tiny, but mighty staff is truly remarkable. For over 23 years, their dedication has changed so many lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful organization to volunteer with!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a not for profit mission driven organization Carson scholars Fund goes above and beyond to make sure students are recognized for their hard work. This is by far one of the best nonprofit organizations. To the donors...Thank you!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars Fund is by far one of the greatest organizations I know. The programs are excellent motivation for our youth today. The reading rooms are fabulous and a great way to get young children to read. Their banquets are an awesome way to show the children that their hard work is not done in vain. Thank you Carson Scholars Fund for actually caring.

N Jhari J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Becoming a Carson Scholar was a dream of mine ever since I learned about the program in the 4th grade. After transferring to a school whom supported the ideas of students finding ways to grow outside of the classroom and securing funding for future endeavors, I made it my goal to become a Carson Scholar. I was not selected the 1st-year that I applied... A real disappointment. I did not sulk or become bitter... I got better at what I was already doing! However, not being selected the first time fuel my determination, work ethic, and involvement. The next year, I opened an envelope informing me that I had been selected as a Carson Scholar. Now, a 4-Time Carson Scholar and Sophomore standing at the University of Florida in my First-Year of College, I am thankful for the let down and blessed to be associated with an awesome organization known all over the country. Earning a Carson Scholarship along with many others has helped me to be worry free of financial burdens for my college education and graduate school. More importantly, knowing that monies donated to Carson Scholars goes directly to the heart of the program and what Dr. and Mrs. Carson said they would do and that is to send scholars to universities with less financial worry. Go for it... Don't quit striving for a greater you!

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have looked up to Dr. Carson since first reading Gifted Hands in the 3rd grade. I began following and reading about his many stories, mission trips to help children around the world and his generosity. When I found out about Carson Scholars, I immediately set a goal to become a Carson Scholar. It took me 3 years of focus, dedication to my studies, and a serving heart to my community. I am a proud to be a Carson Scholar and will continue to strive for greatness in my career and serving my community. Thank you Carson Scholars Fund for helping me help myself by providing a scholarship and constant encouragement and support to do my best at all times. N'Jhari J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Carson Scholars Fund is a GREAT organization. They really care about the scholars and promote a positive environment for them to express their achievements.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The pure excitement and genuine reactions from our students and teachers is priceless! Fifth grade students who shared they normally do not enjoy reading have been lost in their books. One student read Dr. Carson's story and said he was transformed! This reading room has been the greatest gift for our children! Everyone loves our room and the experiences they are having!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

When it comes to non-profits, Carson Scholars Fund is in a league of its' own. When it comes to non-profits that advocate for young students who excel, CSF wrote the book. When it comes to non-profits that put education and giving back to communities ahead, CSF rules. And when it comes to scholarships and supporting alumni scholars long after they've aged out, no non-profit comes remotely close to the Carson Scholars Fund.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working with the Carson Scholars Fund for several years to help raise funds to create Carson Reading Rooms and Scholarships in Palm Beach County. The support and administrative services from the Foundation have been outstanding. We also have received nothing but high praise and positive feedback from principals, teachers, and Board of Education Members regarding the tremendous value that the Carson literacy initiative has been to the district.
On a personal level we have gotten wonderful sense of accomplishment in working on this initiative. We continue to be very very proud of our association with the Carson Schokars Fund and look forward to continuing to support education in our county through the Reading Room Progran.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Carson scholars fund is a wonderful organization. Both of the programs they support provide opportunities for children to reach their potential.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Carson Scholars is such a wonderful organization doing great things for today's youth!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. (CSF) has two programs: its well-known Scholarship Program and its somewhat lesser known, but equally important, Reading Room Program. The former awards $1,000 college scholarships on a merit basis only (minimum 3.75 GPA, a record of community service, and a teacher's recommendation) to students in grades 4-11. Nominated students must submit a robust written application, including a mandatory essay, to CSF which is diligently reviewed by an impartial panel of volunteer judges (believe me, I know--I am one!). This Program exists in all fifty States and the District of Columbia.

The Reading Room Program's primary purpose is to provide funding and support to local schools so that they can create a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills. This Program is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking the potential of ALL the children in each school in which a Reading Room is created, then maintained. This Program exists in a number of States and its goal is to become national in scope, too.

I have served as a volunteer, in both Programs, for approximately eight years. Readers of this review can be confident that: both Programs are effective; CSF itself is efficient (for example, it operates with a small, but highly competent, paid staff); and, importantly, CSF is transparent. I unhesitatingly encourage you to learn more about CSF by going to its website: www.carsonscholars.org

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. (CSF) has two programs: its well-known Scholarship Program and its currently somewhat lesser known, but equally important, Reading Room Program. The former awards $1,000 college scholarships on a merit basis only (minimum 3.75 GPA, a record of community service, and a teacher's recommendation) to students in grades 4-11. Nominated students must submit a robust written application, including a mandatory essay, to CSF which is diligently reviewed by an impartial panel of volunteer judges(believe me, I know--I am one!). This Program exists in all fifty States and the District of Columbia.

The Reading Room Program's primary purpose is to provide funding and support to local schools so that they can create a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills. This Program is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking the potential of ALL the children in each school in which a Reading Room is created, then maintained. This Program exists in a number of States and its goal is to become national in scope, too.

I have served as a volunteer, in both Programs, for approximately two years. Readers of this review can be confident that: both Programs are effective; CSF itself is efficient(for example, it operates with a small, but highly competent, paid staff); and, importantly, CSF is transparent. I unhesitatingly encourage you to learn more about CSF by going to its website: www.carsonscholars.org

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It has been so wonderful to work with the Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. I believe that this organization is one of the best nonprofit that our school district have been associated with as we worked to open three of the five Ben Carson Reading Rooms in the state of Georgia. Our facilitator at the Carson Scholars Fund carefully guided us - step by step - through this process so that we were ready for the successful opening of our reading rooms. This organization understands the role that reading plays in overall student achievement and truly wants what is best for students. I am impressed by their dedication and commitment to the work they are doing.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful to deal with! Carson Scholars Fund is top notch.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

A 6th grader last year was sent to an alternative school for bringing a knife to school. This student was a "regular" in the school library, and I was devastated upon hearing the news. I was further saddened when I came to the realization that the alternative school he was being sent to had no library. Can you believe it? A school without a library? I decided to contact his grandmother with whom he lived, and asked her if she would be willing to stop by my school every other week to pick up some books for him to read at home. I knew what he liked to read, so I could gather a little pile and have them ready for her to pick up in the main office. I couldn't send her home with books from the school library because her grandson was no longer enrolled in my school but I COULD send her home with books from the Carson Reading Room! I filled a bag of books every two weeks for her to take home and her grandson LOVED the books. I even found out his grandmother was also reading the books I was sending home! Because all of the books were returned weekly, I allowed him to take home a bag of books from the Carson Room to read over the summer. Reading books for pleasure would not have been an option for this student during the last few months of school if I didn't have the Carson Library. The grandmother didn't want the responsibility of returning public library books by a certain date or paying for them if they were lost, but given the flexibility of coming to the school at her convenience to drop off or pick up books made the arrangement possible. The Carson Reading Room serves many purposes in my school building and I am thankful to have it.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. has provided our rural school an opportunity for our students to enjoy the gift of books and opportunities for many years to come. We were able to turn an ordinary room into a welcoming and exciting place for our students to leave their worries at the door and get lost in adventures found in books. We are grateful for this opportunity and was pleasantly surprised how simple the process was to make this room a reality. Everyone with the foundation made sure the process ran smoothly.

1 Paula K.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Due to the generosity of the Carson Scholars Fund, it gave my son confidence to pursue his dreams and to help afford college. Carson Scholars Fund, Inc is wonderful organization devoted to developing our leaders of tomorrow! We met Dr and Mrs. Carson at the awards banquet and often reflect on their words of encouragement. Thank you!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Carson Scholars Fund far exceeded our expectations as a nonprofit. The students at my school have been blessed immeasurably by the gifts of our beautiful, fully stocked book room that we use multiple times daily. Our students love to visit the room and are growing academically as well as gaining a love for reading. Our school can never say thank you enough for this gift.

All individuals with this nonprofit were amazing to work with and some actually came to our grand opening. It has been a pleasure and still is as we continue ordering new materials with our grant money. Thank you Carson Scholars Fund!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Having had my niece recently recognized as a 2018 Carson Scholar, I have been compelled to read more and more about the organization and what it stands for. What a tremendous gift that has been made available to student's 4th through 11th grades across this country. Students are being recognized for not only their academic excellence in a world that places so much emphasis on sports, but they are being recognized for humanitarian contributions that speak with more actions than words, but resonate with in our communities. Seeing the humanitarian efforts performed by these students being recognized, brings awareness to many needs that people tend to turn a blind eye to. The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. inspires students to Dream Big, set their sites and shoot for the stars. It encourages students to "Think Big", be the nerd in the school. The qualities that Carson Scholars exude should send out a very loud and clear message that there is great hope in the next generations that will, one day be our countries leaders. I for one after watching my niece receive her award, and reading about the accomplishments of those recognized, am encouraged by what our country has to look forward to! Thank you to the Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. for being the type of organization that promotes learning and humanitarianism. It is welcomed and refreshing!!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholarship was always a part of the schools in which I worked as a counselor and an administrator in Anne Arundel County, MD.
I now sponsor a scholarship at my grandson's elementary school in Tucson, AZ.