Earl Martin Phalen

KANSAS CITY, MO.– KC Scholars continues to exemplify quality education standards for local students of varying circumstances. The newest example of the program’s extraordinary offerings lies in the 2023 Traditional Scholarships. Through this generous program, deserving applicants are awarded an opportunity to earn their college degree debt free. KC Scholars has been delivering on their mission of scholars graduating debt free for more than six years.

Requirements for the 2023 award are as follows:

Be a current 11th grader during the application cycle.

Be home-schooled or attend a public, charter, or private high school in the following six counties: Cass, Clay, Jackson, and Platte (MO) or Johnson and Wyandotte (KS).

Be lawfully present in the U.S. or DACA eligible and DACA applied/approved.

Have at least a 2.5 cumulative high school unweighted GPA (five semesters from 9th grade to the fall semester of 11th grade) or at least a 16 on the ACT or at least an 800 on the SAT.

Additionally, the student must be considered low- or modest-income. Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) calculation on the Federal Student Aid Estimator must be $12,000 or less. The calculation is based on household income, number of members in the family, and number of family members that will be in college at the same time. This is the amount of annual financial support a family can be expected to pay toward the student’s college education.

KC Scholars’ renowned student support provides scholars a chance to graduate from college, or an approved third-party credentialing program, and enter good careers. Students and adults who are low- and moderate-income and reside in one of the six counties KC Scholars serves in the Kansas City Area (Kansas and Missouri) are eligible to apply. Over 90% of their scholars persist annually, and 74% of their scholars are on track for on-time graduation. KC Scholars currently has 6,293 scholars and awards approximately 750 new scholarships annually. The goal is to significantly expand our program and its impact in the coming years.

Nationally recognized non-profit pioneer and visionary education developer Earl Martin Phalen currently oversees the KC Scholars program. On a mission to enhance the quality of life for Kansas City area students and even more students worldwide, his prolific vision has redefined industry standards and revolutionized how we look at education. Inspired by his own commitment to positively impact the global landscape, his work in the last year with KC Scholars has helped make the organization one of the nation’s most effective college scholarship and support programs.

Phalen has a highly anticipated new book being released in February Giving My All honors his dedication to philanthropy.

“I bring urgency to the adults that we serve and the children we serve because I know their lives can be fundamentally different if they're given the opportunity,” Phalen reflects.

With his impressive and eclectic background, the entrepreneur has lived a book-worthy life that is reflected on the pages of the newly released materials. With a heartfelt passion to motivate and uplift fellow educators as equally as students, Phalen takes readers on a journey through his storied life. As a Black boy adopted into a large, loving, Irish Catholic family at age two, he discovered at a young age ​​that he was meant to stand out. Whether it was on the basketball court or as a businessman, he encountered opportunities that required him to overcome obstacles and give his all.

While at Yale, Phalen gained a​​ new sense of pride and purpose as he connected with his black and African American heritage. In graduate school, at Harvard Law, is where his calling to​​ education truly came to life. Phalen has dedicated his life to ​​improving the access low-income children have to quality education and opportunities.

In the ensuing years, a significant number of notable accolades have been bestowed and distinguished positions have been held, which surface for impressive book chapters. These honors include the 1997 President's Service Award from President Bill Clinton; Silver Anniversary Award from NCAA; Black Law Student Association Community Service Chair; Co-founder of the Charles Ogletree School Fund; Board Member of The Kauffman Foundation; Founder of the BELL Foundation, Boston Uncornered Advisory Board Member; and non-profit advisor for Coaching for Change.

For more information on KC Scholars​ and the 2023 Traditional Scholarship​, please visit https://kcscholars.org.

To apply, please visit https://kcscholars.org/traditional-11th-grade

About KC Scholars:

Kansas City Scholars was designed to change thousands of individual lives and transform the region by preparing our future workforce and contributing to the regional economy. It is a 501©(3) college scholarship, persistence, and support organization designed to increase the college completion rate for low- and modest- income students and adult learners across the six-county, bi-state service region. KC Scholars awards traditional college scholarships to high school juniors, adult learner scholarships to adults 18 years and older, and college savings match awards to high school freshmen. KC Scholars supports all its awardees throughout the process and during college. KC Scholars newest program, Great Jobs KC, provides tuition assistance to approved job training programs in high paying and high-demand industries such as construction, healthcare, information technology, and manufacturing. With the support of Great Jobs KC, adults 17 and older can learn the skills needed in one year or less to earn between $45,000-$85,000. Launched in September 2016, KC Scholars has experienced widespread community engagement and rapid scaling. We now have more than 6,000 Scholars, with over 2,000 scholarship recipients currently in college.

About Earl Martin Phalen:

Earl Martin Phalen is one of K-12 education's most visionary leaders: a founder and CEO of multiple successful nonprofits, his mission is to deliver educational excellence and equity to low-income Black and brown children. Born into the Massachusetts foster care system, Earl was adopted into a large, loving Irish Catholic family at age two. His parents instilled the values that led him to a life of service, but growing up Black in a largely white, often hostile world made it hard for him to embrace his gifts. Earl's education taught him the power of Black self-determination, and the love of his family and community sustained him as he struggled to become the leader he was born to be. Earl's exciting career is a testament to his mission's core message: all children deserve the support, the opportunity, and the self-belief they need to reach for their dreams without hesitation. He currently resides in Quincy, MA.

Photo Courtesy Of Lawlor Media Group