Billionaire businessman Ben Navarro and his wife Kelly have made another grand investment. This time it’s a philanthropic effort toward the futures of college students.
The Charleston couple, who are known locally for buying Charleston Tennis, LLC in 2018, which operates the tennis center, the Volvo Car Open and the Volvo Car Stadium and bidding on the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise, are also known for their history of generosity when it comes to educational endeavors.
The Navarros are creating a new college scholarship fund that will benefit scholars in Charleston County School District (CCSD) with strong grades and struggling finances. The academic, financial aid package is called the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund.
“Students who worked hard to be ready for college deserve to be supported in reaching their dreams,” the Navarros expressed in a joint statement. “We are excited to help thousands of Charleston County students on their path to earning a college degree.”
In the works since 2006, the Navarros launched Meeting Street Schools in 2008, which now consists of three public schools and one private academy that offers early childhood education, elementary and college counseling.
The schools were founded to raise the bar for education in South Carolina, upon the belief that all children deserve an excellent education regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic circumstances.
Since its inception, Meeting Street Schools has impacted the lives of more than 2,000 students.
The Navarros’ goal with the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund is to break down the financial barriers that restrict many underprivileged and under-resourced students from receiving a college education. Recipients of the scholarship will be awarded up to $10,000 per year, for a total of $40,000 over four years, for tuition at in-state collegiate institutions.
“The Meeting Street Scholarship Fund will provide deserving young people the financial resources to graduate, eliminating a burden that keeps far too many from reaching their full potential,” the Navarros added.
The scholarship application process is expected to open by Feb. 25, 2021.
Seniors from CCSD public high schools that are set to graduate in 2021 are eligible to apply if they meet the following eligibility criteria:
• Earning either the LIFE or Palmetto Fellows state-provided scholarship (Earn at least a 3.0 GPA; score at least 1100 on SAT or 24 on ACT and rank in the top 30% of your class).
• Qualifying for the Federal Pell Grant, for family financial assistance for college.
• Gaining acceptance to a four-year South Carolina college with at least a six-year graduation rate of 50%.
• Continuing each year at that university in good academic standing.
The acceptance period for applications will close by April 16. Recipients will be notified no later than May 31. By 2024, the Meeting Street Scholarship Fund is projected to support approximately 500 students by providing an estimated $5 million annually.
For more information, visit meetingstreetscholarshipfund.org.