SOAR programs provide participants the opportunity for growth in a nurturing, supportive environment. Our experience, our low staff to student ratio and the incredible program activities we offer do not come without a cost. Tuition costs are out of reach for some in need of our services, and we strive to bridge the gap through financial assistance of those who qualify.
SOAR’s scholarship program is funded by generous donations from people like you. Whether they themselves or their loved ones have been impacted by a SOAR experience, they give because they want to make a difference in the lives of others. Each year we impact others, but we too are impacted in astounding and inspiring ways.
Below is a list of Memorial scholarships which have been created to honor the lives of those who have made a difference at SOAR and in our community. Contributions may be designated to a particular fund as named below, or can be given to our General Scholarship fund.
Tyler Hoffman Young Memorial Scholarship
The Tyler Hoffman Young Memorial Scholarship, created in May of 2012, is dedicated to the memory of Tyler Hoffman Young. As a young man, Tyler participated in our Semester in the Southwest program, and many other courses in the Florida Keys and at our Balsam Base of North Carolina. In memory of the growth and success he found at SOAR, and his love of the outdoors, we honor one camper each year with a tuition scholarship in Tyler’s name.
John Willson, IV Memorial Scholarship
The John Willson Memorial fund is dedicated to the memory of our current Executive Director’s father. John joined a team on one of our Costa Rica adventures as a Spanish interpreter and fell in love with SOAR. He came to realize that one of his siblings spent his life living with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and was profoundly moved by the students we serve and the ability of SOAR to provide opportunities for children like his brother to succeed. Each year a partial scholarship is awarded to a student living with ASD in his name.
Betty Jones Memorial Scholarship
It can be easily and accurately said that without Betty Jones, SOAR would never have existed. An educator, mother, and advocate, Betty gave countless hours of her time to serving children with learning disabilities. In SOAR’s early days, she helped son and Founder, Jonathan Jones, establish SOAR’s mission with the belief that “our greatest challenge involves those students, who through failure in the academic process, have lost the “gotta wanta” attitude and must be turned on to learning.” Her years of service, sacrifice, and commitment to serving youth with learning disabilities is honored each year with the granting of a scholarship in her name to one camper enrolling in our Academic Discovery program.
Ed Kesgen Memorial Scholarship
For so many of us at SOAR Ed was a teacher, leader, and mentor. Ed Kesgen served as the Chair of SOAR’s Board for many years. Ed sought to “ease the burden of those in physical, mental or spiritual disharmony by helping them to encounter the magic and wonder of their being”. Over a span of 30 years, Ed shared his ideas about self-empowerment, environmental harmony and spirit-mind-body healing. We recognize his message of joy and hope, and celebrate his leadership with the granting of a scholarship awarded to one returning Alumni each summer.