Harlan County Judge Executive and SOAR Executive Board Member Dan Mosley has announced the creation of a scholarship program in cooperation with Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKCTC) and the Southeast Education Foundation. This new program Mosley has named the “COAL Scholarship Program…Champions Of Appalachian Livelihood” honors Harlan County’s rich history in coal mining and the sacrifices miners have made to build this country.
Southeast President Dr. Vic Adams says that the college is grateful for this much-needed scholarship. “At Southeast, we offer people in our communities a quality, affordable education right in their own backyard. This scholarship will help even more students to achieve their goals.”
Graduating high school seniors who reside in Harlan County and who desire to attend SKCTC may apply for these scholarships. Those eligible must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher or an ACT score of 18 or higher. The student must also be the son, daughter, grandson, grand-daughter, great-grandson, or great grand-daughter of a current or former coal miner. Local high school counselors received the applications on Friday.
“As a proud graduate of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, I am thankful we have a college here in our community. I would not have had the opportunity for a college education had it not been for the community college being here. The creation of this program will help boost student enrollment and give the college additional resources to show what a great opportunity Southeast is for so many,” said Mosley.
Southeast Education Foundation Chair Ed Harris echoes the enthusiasm of Mosley and Adams. “As a former coal miner myself, I very much appreciate the county’s looking after this deserving population,” he says.
The initial investment of $50,000 is made possible by coal severance funds returned to Harlan County. The college will offer 25 scholarships of $2,000 per academic year, $1,000 for fall and spring semesters.
“I was inspired to create a scholarship program that honors our coal miners’ dedication, resiliency, and work ethic. This program is an investment in our most precious resource, our youth, while honoring another precious resource, coal. It’s my hope that we can continue this investment year after year to help students toward obtaining a college degree, becoming what they want to be in life, and living the American dream,” says Mosley.
Rayburn Doss, who chairs the Southeast Board of Directors, says that the college must continue to foster the American Dream in Appalachia. “This is a coal scholarship designed to assist coal miners and any member of their family. Sometimes we find that someone gets left out because he or she is not aware of what is available. We hope that these scholarships can be provided every year. Thanks to the Harlan County Fiscal Court,” he says.
Mosley praises the college for its role as a beacon of hope throughout the service area. “Southeast opens doors for a lot of kids. It opened doors for me. Just because a student doesn’t have a scholarship to a larger university, doesn’t mean they can’t get one later on. Completing a degree program at Southeast opens the door to transfer scholarship opportunities to other in-state colleges. This COAL Scholarship program will be a step to a quality future for these students that take their next educational step at Southeast,” says Mosley.