STAR Sponsorship/Children’s Scholarship Fund of FW Welcomes New Board Member
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Fort Worth, Texas
STAR Sponsorship/ Children’s Scholarship Fund of Fort Worth is delighted to announce the addition of Diego Semper to its Board of Directors. Semper is the owner and manager of a local residential real estate investment and services business. Prior to becoming a Fort Worth resident, he spent almost 20 years with General Electric where he was involved in operations management and business integration. For several years after his time with GE, Semper held the role of Managing Director for the Capital/Real Estate Equity business unit in Mexico. He holds a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, with certificates in economics and accomplished graduate studies in business design.
Semper has always held an interest in expanding educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. In the past, he has worked to organize corporate partnership and mentorship programs for low-income students and has participated as a sponsor with various educational foundations and children’s funds. STAR is honored to have Semper’s service and efforts on the board of directors and is grateful for his dedication to the program and to STAR families.
STAR (Success Through Academic Readiness) Sponsorship Program was founded in 1993 by a group of local business and community leaders. The founders recognized a need in the local community for educational opportunities for low-income families and desired to provide these opportunities for families in Tarrant County. Their objective was to reduce economic and social hindrances for some of those in the community by providing a better future for families and in turn, the community at large. The first STAR scholarships were awarded in 1994 to 23 students in three schools all located in Fort Worth. Since then, STAR has grown to award 115 scholarships to financially challenged schoolchildren in the 2014-15 school year and currently partners with 16 local schools.
In 1998, STAR partnered with Children’s Scholarship Fund (CSF) in New York City with a 1:1 donor matching fund. The goal of the partnership was to provide even more chances for educational opportunities for the community in addition to the efforts of STAR. In order to fund this ambitious goal, STAR efficiently raised $1 million in funds from local individuals, corporations, foundations, and non-profit contributions in just three months. CSF matched these funds by contributing $1 million to CSF of Fort Worth with all proceeds going directly toward scholarships for underprivileged students in Tarrant County. Initially 9,338 families applied for scholarships, out of the roughly 27,000 families who qualified at that time for the federal aid school lunch program. Throughout the years between 1999 and 2011, several hundred CSF of Fort Worth scholarships were awarded to many local schoolchildren.
STAR sponsors are individuals from the community who share in the desire to provide educational opportunities for low-income families. The program pairs each student with an adult sponsor who contributes toward the student’s tuition while receiving quarterly updates on the child’s progress through the program. Students are expected to strive for A/B Honor Roll, be on time to school, and behave in an exemplary manner. Parents of scholarship students are expected to contribute a percentage of tuition per school year based on their family size and financial capability. Schools also partner with the program by providing additional financial aid. The current average STAR scholarship is $1,795 and average tuition rate is $6,144. For a family of four in the program, the average income is $32,633. Since its inception, STAR/CSF of Fort Worth has awarded over 3,500 tuition grants valued at $4.2 million in Tarrant County. The economic value of these grants has generated over $17 million in scholarships.
STAR Sponsorship/Children’s Scholarship Fund of Fort Worth is a qualified 501(c)3 charitable organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. Please contact Patty Myers, Executive Director of STAR, at (817) 888-3255 for further information.