Educational Opportunities, Inc., (EdOp) is a volunteer organization in Dallas, Texas, dedicated to assisting youth who have the academic ability but not the financial means to attend college. It was founded in 1965 as an outgrowth of the Scholarship Committee of the West Dallas Community Center. The scholarship grants provided by EdOp are coupled with mentoring provided by members of the Board of Trustees. Approximately 55 students (freshmen to seniors) are served each year by the program.
Students selected for an EdOp scholarship receive an annual grant that is renewable for four years. Funds are provided at the beginning of each semester (fall and spring) for tuition and books and/or related expenses. In addition to this financial assistance, each student is assigned a mentor who provides motivational support and guidance for challenges that might arise during a student's college career.
EdOp is guided by a 40-member board of volunteers and has minimal overhead with one paid, part-time coordinator funded by the organization's endowment. Its scholarship grants are funded by donations from individuals and foundations in the Dallas community.
Educational Opportunities, Inc., is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit charitable and educational organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
EdOp seeks to help students with high motivation and limited financial resources, for whom a grant of $7,600 a year will have a critical impact on their ability to meet the goal of college degree. The young people helped by these grants typically have other loans and scholarships from conventional sources yet still be unable to attend college with an EdOp scholarship.
Students apply for an EdOp scholarship from selected Dallas magnet high school—Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, Booker T. Washington School for the Performing Arts, and Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School. These schools provide administrative counseling while fostering a desire for higher education and encouraging family participation in the educational process. EdOp board members work closely with school counselors familiar with their students' academic records as well as their family and financial situations. Many of our scholarship recipients are the first in their family to attend college. Most come from homes with challenging financial stresses, and all have part-time jobs in addition to a full high school course load.
Every spring, applications and transcripts from high school seniors are reviewed by a committee of board members. Candidates are personally interviewed by committee members, and the full selection committee makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees at its spring meeting. In April 2019 fifteen students were offered scholarships for their freshman year in college.
Our volunteer boards are comprised of educators and other professionals as well as community leaders, including former EdOp students. The 40-member Board of Trustees meets throughout the year to review applications, grant scholarships and awards, plan events, and make key organizational decisions, while members of the Advisory Board lend their diverse talents to the organization. Members of both boards are also key financial supporters and act as mentors to current scholars. Because EdOp does not maintain an office and employs only one part-time employee, operating costs are minimal, and all solicited funds go directly to assist students.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
ANDREW T. BROWNFIELD
DIEM H. CHAU
CAROL CASSON HILL
KIM WEBB HORTON
MARIETTA SCURRY JOHNSON
JENNIFER N. JONES
ANNE P. LEARY
MARY LOIS LEONARD
ROBERT E. LUXEN
SANDRA E. SNYDER
JOHN D. SOLANA
NANCY JONES WEST
TAMMY S. WOOD
ANN E. WOODALL