Scottsdale Charros & Flick Foundation spearhead scholarship expansion pursuit
By Terrance Thornton | Digital Free Press
It starts at home. It starts early. It starts a path to success.
The promise to any student he or she can go to college — and the desire is there — no matter the financial hurdle, oftentimes becomes an intangible part of a recipe for early academic success.
The Coronado Promise is such a commitment, effort and and Scottsdale Unified School District officials say, it is making a difference.
— Patty Beckman, SUSD Governing Board member
“It is our hope that the future the Coronado Promise will become the model for similar promise scholarship programs in each of our five learning communities.”
The scholarship, managed by The Charro Foundation, is a collaboration with the Coronado Foundation for the Future, Scottsdale Community College, Coronado High School, Scottsdale Unified School District, and the city of Scottsdale.
The Charro Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the Scottsdale Charros, who for more than 60 years have been steadfast in the pursuit of supporting public education through being the “boots on the ground” through positive community impact.
The groups, which collectively make up the Coronado Promise, gathered on May 19 to celebrate 25 scholarship recipients. These Coronado High School seniors and their families were honored with a dinner and program, the highlight of which was the ceremonial signing of the Coronado Promise.
Juan Ernesto Booth was one of those students.
“Not only does the scholarship provide financial aid, but it also introduces students to an entire team dedicated to the success of those participants,” he said. “The scholarship is more than just the money, it opens the doors to guidance, counseling, and people who truly believe in the future of those receiving it.”
That support realized, and the audacious pursuit to do more, could not be a reality without 1971 Coronado High School graduate Rob Flick. He explains he would not have been able to attend college himself without for a full scholarship to the U.S. Naval Academy.
The Flick Family Foundation has committed to $50,000 per year for the next 10 years in scholarship funds and will match dollar-for-dollar additional funds raised for the program up to $50,000 per year for 10 years.
“I really believe in education,” he said at an event earlier this year announcing the expansion of the scholarship program at Coronado High School.
“My goal, if I can, over the next five years or so is to not have 20 or 25 scholarships — like I think we’re going to do this year – but to have 100 scholarships a year coming right here out of Coronado and maybe we can get some other schools to start following along.”
Paving a pathway to success
Scottsdale Charros Executive Director Dennis Robbins offers how he views the weight of the promise scholarship emerging in his hometown.
“Education plays a significant role in helping end the cycle of poverty by providing students with improved opportunities for the future,” he said. “More education is associated with higher lifetime incomes, better job prospects, a longer life, increased community involvement, and better physical and mental health.”
At the Scottsdale Charros is Andrew Beardsley, who serves today as education chair of the group and when the promise scholarship expansion efforts took hold.
“As outgoing Charros education chairman, I am so proud of the fact that the Coronado Promise grew from a handful scholarship recipients last year to 25 this year due to engagement and financial support from the community,” he said of the role he got to play. “What a rewarding experience!”
Without fail, the Scottsdale Charros host a banquet every year where outstanding educators and students are provided grant dollars, scholarships and recognition. Scottsdale Charro John Arnold spearheaded the event this year, held at Scottsdale Stadium, 7408 E. Osborn Road.
“For more than 60 years, the Scottsdale Charros network of lifetime volunteers have raised funds to support Scottsdale education,” he said. “The Charros are always looking for innovative ways to show this support. The Coronado Promise is the perfect demonstration of that commitment.”
The Coronado Promise scholarship is funded by donations. Learn more about how to support the program at CoronadoPromise.org