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2017 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 7,100 scholars in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Since 2000, the Ben Carson Reading Project has established over 170 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 170 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

58 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Anna75

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot thank the Carson Scholarship fund enough for motivating me to do more community service. After hearing about all the accomplishments of other young people around me I realize how much more I can do. I love helping people.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dr. Carson truly cares about students. I met him and his wife at a book signing and it reminded me how awesome the Carson Scholars Fund has become.

3 jandcmaintenance

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars fund is one of the better run 501 C-3's out there. It functions quite efficiently; giving back more than 90 cents of every dollar received into scholarships and national programs such as Reading Rooms. Every volunteer we engaged with throughout the years offered a positive demeanor and approach. Dr. & Mrs. Ben Carson have been successful imparting the Funds' belief among it's group of workers and the world alike; which is that high achieving students who demonstrate a humanitarian spirit be recognized and rewarded.
Our son wears his Carson Scholar recognition with utmost pride!

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars fund was the very first scholarship my son applied for. He was floored upon receiving the award letter. The fund has an amazing group of volunteers and unlike some other funds, are readily available should there you have a question or concern. Even more amazing is when Dr. & Mrs. Carson along with a host of motivating V.I.P.'s attend the banquet ceremonies. This couple doesn't disappear after the ceremony, they actually pose for photos and autographs with attendees. Motivating children to excel is their specialty. Their actions are indicative of what this scholarship fund is about.
The fund is able to maintain costs below 10%, quite impressive feat by a non-profit these days.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Carson Scholars are great students who not only achieve top grades, but they are wonderful role models for their classmates. In addition, they contribute to humanity by performing community service. Thank you Dr. Carson, Candy Carson and Staff of Carson Scholars Fund for keeping Dr. Ben Carson's Dream alive to have a Carson Scholar in every School in the USA.

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became familiar with Dr. Carson many years ago when I first read "Gifted Hands." I was so impressed by his story of overcoming many challenges thanks to the guidance of his mother in his youth and all that he accomplished in becoming a world renowned pediatric neurosurgeon. He has truly been an inspiration to me and I have been pleased to donate funds in support of the Carson Scholars' program over the past year. He is a very positive role model committed to encouraging and supporting youth to follow his path and to pursue success through higher education. I am truly proud that I can support the Scholars program.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I was "introduced" to Dr. Carson via a Chick-fil-a leadership seminar. His story captivated me and then a close friend took his 11 year old son to Johns Hopkins and Dr. Carson's partner's care.
Dr. Carson's appearance at the National Prayer breakfast in February 2013 ("youtube.com", 22 minutes) was all the impetus I needed.
Since that time I have been an "apostle", sharing Dr. Carson's story, the clip on "youtube" and the success of the Carson Scholars program. There is much work to do in order to get our country back on the track of "one nation, under God". God bless Dr. Carson and his family and God bless the USA.
JohnWF, Wilmington, NC

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My name is Jim Wohlford and just played in the carson scholars fund golf tourney in bethesda md. The tournament was first class and the people were wonderful. As an ex- major league baseball player that played 15 years i have played in over 100 celebrity golf tournaments in my lifetime. First class tournament and first class people. I am from central California and believe in what this organization stands for. Helping young people dream big learning to read and becoming future leaders. Dr Carson And his wife are special people who really understand what needs to be done to help the future generation of this country to succceed in life. Working hard learning to read at a young age and becoming future leaders is very important to the well being of this country. The staff at the Carsons Scholars Fund Is led by Amy Warner and Shelia Butler. Two women who are very dynamic and outstanding individuals. The whole staff is dedicated to helping young people reach their future goals and becoming great citizens. My wife and I plan on supporting this fund for many years to come.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a member of a book club in Baltimore County, MD. Our club decided that we needed a project. After assigning Dr. Carson's newest book, "America the Beautiful" we know we had found a worthwhile cause to support. We were determined to put one of his Reading Rooms in a Baltimore County school. We held a fund raiser that included Dr. Carson signing his book and speaking to the guests. The response was overwhelming. Everyone was so impressed with Dr. Carson's Reading Room ideas and the difference that they could make in the lives of young children. We raised enough money to fund at least 3 reading rooms! The principal from the first school chosen to receive one of our Reading Rooms attended the event and was excited and energized by what an impact this could have on her students. At a time when our education system must compete with video games, TV, etc. it is wonderful to see the schools have an opportunity to show young children what a difference reading can make in their lives. Dr. Carson, his wife and his entire staff are passionate about reading and what reading can do to improve the lives of everyone. Books are the windows to the world and these Reading Rooms can open up the ways to explore, learn and grow.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Early in 2010 my husband and I were invited to a preview event of the movie "Gifted Hands" , based on Dr Carson's book of the same name. Cuba Gooding, who played Ben , was present and we got to meet Dr Carson's mother Sylvia as well as his son BJ. We were very impressed with Dr Carson and his passion with education and giving back to others. Some months later we had a "friend raiser" party at our home and we and our friends raised a substantial amount for the Carson Scholars Foundation. We continue to support the Foundation in many ways and have come friends with Dr Carson and his wife Candy. For the Hillendale Country Club, Ladies Book Club, I was able to arrange for Dr Carson to do a book signing of "America The BeautifuI " . Our Book Club decided to have the event raise enough money for a "Carson Reading Room" . We had such success enough money was raised for 2 or 3 Reading Rooms for needy Baltimore County elementary schools. The children love their "own " room where they can read for fun and develop a love of reading, and maybe be go on to become a Carson Scholar! Wouldn't it be great if other Book Clubs teamed up the CSF to fund " Carson Reading Rooms" around the country!!!!!!!! Giving these children an opportunity to become the best they can be.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Carson Scholars Fund has awarded me with a scholarship for the past six years. This recognition verified my hard work in school and gave me the opportunity to attend the annual banquet. At the banquet I got to hear many prominent speakers who gave me much to think about and reflect upon. The foundation has showed me the impact that normal people like Dr. Ben Carson can have on the community and the world, which motivates me to work for our God in my own life. I know that I am not the only one who has been changed and motivated by the Carson Scholarship Foundation, and I fully support all funds being directed to this organization in order for these people to continue their Kingdom work.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

At a time when our nation is declining and the general public places more of an emphasis on reality TV stars than scholars who will work toward its future success, it's refreshing to find a group that is working to reform the American education system from the root of the problem itself -- the people. The Carson Scholars Fund believes that the best way to battle ignorance is to re-instill and re-prioritize the values of educational success and humanitarian qualities in our youth. Dr. Carson is a truly brilliant man, who, fortunately for us, was blessed with a mother who knew the importance of intelligence. Not all kids are so lucky. That's why I'm glad we have non-profits like CSF and teachers who strive to encourage excellence.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Rose Family, Memphis,TN

Our son is a Carson Scholar for the last three years. The Carson Scholars Fund, Inc. (CSF) program has inspired my son to continue to strive for excellence in every area. It is amazing to see how many lives that this organization has touched in such a positive way. To Dr. Carson and his wife, Candy Carson, we would like to thank you for your vision and commitment to excellence. We would also like to thank the staff, contributors, and organizers of this great scholarship fund. Thank you again!!!!!!

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

Donor

Rating: 5

I love the stories I read, and I love Dr. Carson's thinking. I've listened to his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast this year, and am currently reading 'America the Beautiful'.

With 12 grandchildren of my own, I'm honored to contribute to something I believe in. I believe in our children and their ability to rise to the challenge if we simply provide the example and then give them the opportunity to shine. I don't know if any of my grand babies will be a Carson scholar, but I know this is not a 'fuzzy' achievement. I would be very happy to see everyone of them set their sights on academic and community excellence. To all you scholars out there, congratulations!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son is truly honored to be a
5 time Carson Scholar. I think it's very important to recognize our children for all of the hard work and effort they put into their work. The Carson Scholars gives them the opportunity to shine and get recognized for their efforts both in and out of school. The staff is also very friendly and dies an awesome job with the rewards banquet and making our kids feel special.

1 Traci B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter was chosen as a Carson Scholar in her junior year. It is so nice to see students rewarded for their academic successes and community involvement. Lots of times, accolades are given only to athletes, Carson Scholars allows students whose talents lie in other areas, to be celebrated (and motivated). The awards ceremonies are very nice and I look forward to following Dr. Carson's continued successes. I am proud to say I am a parent of a Carson Scholar!!

2 Gina R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter is in 5th grade and received a scholarship. I believe that recognizing students at this young age really helps to inspire them to keep work hard at acheiving their dreams and give back to the community. The banquet where she was recognized and moved by Dr. Carson's talk was an experience she will always remember.