Mayor donates most of his mayor’s salary to new scholarship fund for Dallas ISD students

Mayor Tom Leppert in November kicked off a new scholarship program geared to keep high school students focused on making good grades, graduating, and going on to college.

During a news conference at James Madison High School on Nov. 29, Leppert announced that he will donate most of his mayor’s salary to the Mayor’s Chesapeake Energy Scholarship Fund to encourage students to keep their grades up.

Initially, only freshmen and sophomores at W.H. Adamson, James Madison, and North Dallas high schools will be eligible for the mayor’s scholarships.

At the new conference, Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa praised the mayor’s commitment to education in Dallas and said the scholarship fund will help some students who had not been considering college to stay in school.

The mayor hopes his $200,000 contribution over four years to the scholarship fund will spur others in the Dallas community to donate funds, which will be matched by Chesapeake Energy.

To earn a mayor’s scholarship, students must have a 3.0 grade point average by the end of their sophomore year; study life skills, such as time management; take advanced placement classes and prepare for college; and apply for other scholarships as seniors.

Students also must participate in the Education is Freedom mentoring program, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization that works to remove barriers to attending college by awarding scholarships to students overlooked by traditional scholarship programs. The program is available at three Dallas ISD high schools: W.H. Adamson, James Madison, and North Dallas.

The Dallas Foundation will administer the Mayor’s Chesapeake Energy Scholarship Fund.

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