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At Fairdale High School, Congressman Yarmuth Announces Funding to Boost Graduation Rates


LOUISVILLE, KY – Congressman John Yarmuth announced today a five-year Educational Talent Search Program (ETS) grant to KentuckianaWorks College Access Center (KCAC) through the KentuckianaWorks Foundation. The Congressman was at Fairdale High School, along with local government and education leaders, to make the announcement.

“Over the next five years, this federal investment will create opportunities for thousands of young Louisvillians,” said Congressman Yarmuth. “By providing students who need help with a path to college and beyond, we’re not just giving them a chance to succeed, we’re also strengthening our economy and preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future. ”

KCAC will receive $321,777 this year and $312,124 each year for the next four years to provide services to young adults at five Jefferson County high schools. The total grant award is more than $1.57 million for the five years. KCAC first received funding for the ETS Program in 1988.

KCAC counselors will work with a total of more than 750 students each year at five Jefferson County Public High Schools – Fairdale High School, Iroquois High School, Liberty High School, Valley High School and Western High School.

“This funding will support hundreds of students, guiding them to reach their full potential in high school and beyond,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “One of my top priorities is to create a culture of lifelong learning in Louisville. The Educational Talent Search Program and its partners will nurture that idea by showing students a college education is attainable. It is within reach and it will lead to future opportunities and success.”

The KCAC counselors will work one-on-one with students to help remove academic, personal development and financial literacy barriers to successful completion of high school and preparation for post-secondary studies. They also will conduct classroom sessions for students to help them plan for college, negotiate the admissions and financial processes, and prepare for successful transition to post-secondary learning and life. Students will explore careers, have opportunities to visit college campuses. Additionally, the grant supports parent/family engagement in school and community events that focus on a college-going culture.

“This program, combined with district’s recent initiatives that are already improving college-readiness, eliminates obstacles to achievement and creates a pathway to possibility,” said JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens.

Joining Congressman Yarmuth at Fairdale were Mayor Fischer, Superintendent Hargens, Fairdale High School Principal Brad Weston and ETS student Shermaine Johns.

Johns, 16, is a senior at Fairdale High School and has worked with KCAC counselors for several years. She has a 4.0 grade point average and is making plans to attend college next year and major in Theater. Johns toured seven college campuses during her sophomore year in high school. As a result of her tour of the Northern Kentucky University campus, she plans to apply to NKU as it is one of her top choices.

The grant, awarded to KentuckianaWorks Foundation, is also known as TRIO Talent Search Program. The program seeks to identify youth from low-income and first-generation-college backgrounds and work with them and their parents during the four years of high school to prepare them for academic success in postsecondary studies. A culminating goal is completion of a postsecondary program of study, including an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree.

As part of the grant, KCAC will receive in-kind donations from a variety of community partners. They are KentuckianaWorks Foundation (applicant); Jefferson County Public School District; Fairdale High School; Iroquois High School; Liberty High School; Valley High School; Western High School; Bellarmine University; Indiana University Southeast; Ivy Tech Community College; Jefferson Community and Technical College; Metropolitan College; University of Louisville; Webster University; Western Kentucky University; 55,000 Degrees; Council for Opportunity in Education; Family Scholar House; Greater Louisville Inc.; JCTC Foundation Inc.; Junior Achievement; Kentucky Council on Economic Education; Louisville Education and Employment Partnership; Louisville Metro Government, Office of Youth Development; and Louisville Urban League/Project Ready College Access Program.

KCAC is primarily funded by the U.S. Department of Education, federal TRIO programs and is administered by KentuckianaWorks Foundation Inc. KCAC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in employment or provision of services. For more information on KCAC programs, call (502) 584-0475or visit the website at

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