Scholarships for CMS students help children of single-parent families afford college

Project One Scholarship Fund, a Charlotte-based nonprofit dedicated to expanding college education to students of low-income, single-parent families, helps ensure the success of its scholars by also offering financial literacy programs and mentoring.

As the holidays approach, Project One asks supporters to consider making a tax-deductible gift to help make the dream of a college education possible.

Thirteen students have been granted scholarships since the program’s inception, said Neal Emmons, founder and executive director. “The scholars are all driven and motivated.” POSF’s first two scholars are on track to graduate from college in 2016.

All Project One scholars help fund their educations through summer jobs, and most work during the school year, as well. But the average cost of a four-year N.C. public university — including tuition, room, board and books – can cost up to $28,000 per year. That’s out of reach for many.

Emmons said the group’s 2016 goal is to award five new four-year scholarships to deserving students. He’s counting on a holiday appeal to help raise some of the needed funds to increase the group’s reach.

“We are so appreciative of the support of our donors,” he said. “The success of our scholars is only possible through the help of our partners … who believe in our vision of breaking the cycle of poverty one mind at a time through the power of a college education.”

Emmons’ interest in helping at-risk students comes from a deeply personal place. “Having been raised by a single mother – and because my life was profoundly changed through the kindness of others – I left a long career in investments to pursue my dream of helping change the lives of other children from single-parent families,” he said.

Project One offers scholarships to students who are Mecklenburg County residents planning to attend a N.C. state-supported college or university and have a high school GPA of 2.5 or higher. Recipients must demonstrate initiative and have a family in which the parent’s income is at or below 200 percent of poverty rate. The student is required to apply for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Donations can be made online at or by mail: Project One Scholarship Fund, 2438 Hassell Place, Charlotte, N.C. 28209.