Pay It Forward

Amber and Jill Kelleher

The school year is fast approaching, and for some families with high school graduates hopeful of starting college in the fall, that means added financial stress. Over the past 30 years, the expense of higher education has increased 4.5 times, and in recent years parents are less able to carry the financial burden of sending their kids to college.

Most of today’s students graduate and enter the workforce with massive loan debts. With teens of her own, Kelleher International’s CEO, Amber Kelleher-Andrews began discovering the magnitude of the student debt crisis in the United States and was inspired to act.

Amber’s passion for philanthropy was fueled by her 2013 partnership with Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Unite to bring the world’s top influencers, CEOs, philanthropists and environmentalists to Necker Island for a five-day retreat. The theme was – and still is – to inspire attendees to use their respective influence as a force for good.

Practicing what she preaches Amber decided to develop the Kelleher International Scholarship this summer with the goal of creating an educational opportunity for a bright-eyed student in need of assistance.

“We are very passionate about helping students as much as possible,” commented the enthusiastic Amber Kelleher-Andrews. “Especially those who are also philanthropic-minded and will carry on the goodwill of ‘carrying it forward’ that we believe so much in. We can’t wait to see the entries and help a lucky student get a head start on making their future dreams become a reality.”

And because finding financial opportunities are challenging and the paperwork tedious, Amber had the idea to keep the Kelleher International Scholarship application simple. “As a parent, I know how important it is for teens to be involved in developing a solid foundation for their future. I also know that to ask them to complete lengthy questionnaires, and multiple essay questions would shift the burden of responsibility back over to their parents,” she explained. “I want this process to feel empowering for the student applicants.”

Coupling her parental know-how with her love of making the world a better place, Amber came up with a straightforward question to determine who to award a $2,500 academic scholarship for the spring 2019 semester, “How can philanthropy change the world?”

Kelleher International Scholarship

If you are the parent or loved one of:

1) a high school student graduating this calendar year who is accepted into a college, university, trade school, or design school or

2) a student currently enrolled in a college, university, trade school, or design school who is in need of financial assistance, please share this post and encourage them to submit their application for support.

The student-written essay should be roughly the link of this article (less than 500 words). Application deadline is November 30, 2018, and a committee will choose a winner in December.