Iroquois H.S. freshmen have a chance at four years of free colle - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Iroquois H.S. freshmen have a chance at four years of free college

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- This year every freshman at one JCPS high school has a chance at four years of free college waiting for them after graduation.  They have three things to do to become eligible.

On Thursday morning, Carrie Johmann's freshman English class centered on a person's view and where it comes from.  It comes as Iroquois High School tries to get a group of students to change their perspective on college.

Ross Carroll, Iroquois H.S. Freshman Academy Director, explains, "The Rotary Club approached us and said that they had joined forces with JCTC and come up with a plan to help these kids pay for college four years from now."

There's a scholarship waiting for every student in the class of 2017 -- two years of JCTS, then on to U of L.   All the students have to do is maintain a 2.5 GPA, stay out of trouble, and achieve 90 percent attendance throughout high school.

Promise Scholarship Chair Mitch Rue explains that means, "First, knock down the barrier for these kids to go to college, second be able to have them have the ability to have the skills to assimilate into a job."

That's a motivator for Chelsea Albright, who says, "I want to be a cosmetologist or possibly a teacher."

Rue says, "We're also trying to closely connect these kids with mentoring opportunities with job shadow and job track programs."

This is the first year for the Rotary Promise Scholarship at Iroquois High School.  It actually started last year at Western High School and it's having an immediate impact.  Rue explains, "We've seen reduced disciplinary problems, increased attendance, and a GPA that's starting to rise in that school."

The backdrop addresses an underlying issue as Iroquois is one of JCPS' persistently low-achieving schools.  Targeting freshmen aims to turn things around over time.  "We'd sure like to see the culture of the school change completely," Carroll says.

Chelsea Albright says, "I think about it all the time because if I don't feel like doing work I think it could take away the opportunity for me getting a scholarship."

The Rotary Promise Scholarship will cover every dollar that a student's financial aid package does not.

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