(February 18, 2013, New Orleans, La) - Students4HIGHER is pleased to announce the launch of its Premier Scholars program at the University of New Orleans. The program is for qualified high-performing, local high school graduates who wish to obtain a bachelor’s degree in an academic discipline that is of unique importance to the New Orleans community, including local businesses and organizations.
Students4HIGHER, a New Orleans-based, private, not-for-profit initiative, supports qualified high school graduates in earning their baccalaureate degree in four years at a public, partner institution, and joining the local, educated workforce. The First-Gen Scholars program, launched in the fall of 2010, assists certain qualified first-generation college students in their pursuit of a college degree, through a combination of financial assistance, mentoring and relevant part-time employment. First-Gen Scholars must be recipients of, and remain qualified for, the TOPS Performance Award.
The new Premier Scholars program is directed at higher-performing qualified high school graduates who wish to pursue academic majors in engineering; accounting; education, hotel, restaurant and tourism administration; computer science; jazz; film arts or many of the other UNO programs that address the local requirements of an educated workforce. In addition to the benefits of the scholarship, mentorship and internship components of the First-Gen program, the Premier Scholar program incorporates a summer study-abroad component at the UNO-Innsbruck International Summer School in Innsbruck, Austria. Premier Scholars must be recipients of, and remain qualified for, the TOPS Honors Award.
“Matching bright local high school students with specific academic programs offered by UNO—our city’s only 4-year, urban, public, research university—is a dream come true,” said Barry LeBlanc, who co-founded Students4HIGHER with his wife, Teresa. “We hope to play a role in helping strengthen our local, public university and helping build an educated workforce that matches the needs of our businesses.”
The goal over the next two academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15) is to enroll 100 Premier Scholars in the program, and to identify 100 corporate or civic organizations to sponsor a specific Premier Scholar.