The Dorrance Foundation

The Dorrance Foundation for Education has awarded scholarships to 36 graduates from 31 high schools across Arizona. The students will attend one of the state’s three public universities this fall. The total educational and programmatic value of each scholarship is estimated at more than $100,000. (Photo courtesy Dorrance Foundation for Education)

Three West Valley teens have the opportunity to attend ASU and NAU, thanks to the Dorrance Foundation for Education, based in Tempe.

Buckeye Union High School’s Anthony Hernandez is headed to ASU; Jose Caballero from Agua Fria High School will attend NAU; while Jacqueline Corral-Armas of Tolleson Union High School will study at NAU.

The Dorrance Merit Scholarship was established by Jacquie and Bennet Dorrance at the Arizona Community Foundation in 1999 with 10 awards. What is now the Dorrance Scholarship Programs at the Dorrance Foundation for Education has awarded more than 500 scholarships, representing an investment of more than $40 million by the Dorrances.

“From the program’s inception, we have wanted to focus on good students who strove to be the first in their families to go to college; students in whom we saw great potential to grow; students we thought could benefit greatly from exposure to a program, one-on-one mentoring, and the rewarding gift of camaraderie and character building with peers,” Jacquie Dorrance said.

Dorrance Scholarship Programs are available annually to up to 36 high school graduates who meet precise eligibility requirements that include: first generation to attend college; demonstrated financial need; meeting minimum GPA and test scores; admission to ASU, NAU or UA; and proven leadership and volunteer service. The scholarship offers $12,000 per year for a total of eight semesters of full-time, undergraduate study and is maintained based on academic standing, program participation and volunteerism. The total educational and programmatic value of each scholarship is estimated at more than $100,000.

“It is a cliché that college transforms students, but this truism is especially accurate regarding first-generation college students, like the Dorrance Scholars,” Executive Director James Hensley said. “Through its mentoring and enrichment programs, the Dorrance Scholarship aims to complement the undergraduate experience and foster transformation, introducing students to innovative people and ideas, foreign places, natural beauty and great works of art.”

About 98 percent of students complete the Dorrance program graduate, compared with 11 percent of first-generation, low-income students nationally. Four of five students complete the program.

The application for next school year will go live on October 1 at dorrancescholarship.org/applicants/. The deadline is February 6 for Arizona high school seniors.