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ChairScholars Foundation Charity Profile
During his 29 year tenure as Chief of Spinal Surgery at the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center in New York City, Hugo A. Keim, M.D. witnessed the struggles of many disabled youngsters. Dr. Keim and his wife Alicia, having both overcome physical challenges of their own, wanted to help. They strongly believed that “no physical impairment should deter a motivated mind.” So, in 1992, they began by sending two students who were in wheelchairs to college. From this act of kindness, the ChairScholars Foundation emerged. To date, over 500 scholarships have been awarded.
The Foundation began with the National program. Scholarships are available to students from Maine to Hawaii – and everywhere in between - providing up to $20,000 for tuition at the college of their choice.
High school seniors and college freshmen with profound physical challenges, financial need, who have at least a B average, and a track record of community service or social contribution are eligible to submit applications. To date over 150 scholarships have been awarded.
In 1995 the Keim’s moved to Tampa, Florida and realized the need for a Florida program. There are more than 200,000 students in Hillsborough County alone, making it the eighth largest school district in the country, and more than 48% of these students qualify for the “free and reduced” lunch program.
The Keim’s joined forces with the Hillsborough Education Foundation, Pinellas Education Foundation, Pasco Education Foundation, Polk Education Foundation and Take Stock in Children of Sarasota to provide scholarships through the Florida Pre-Paid Tuition program.
The Florida Program is available to students attending public schools in the Florida counties of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Polk. These scholarships provide either full tuition for a bachelor’s degree through the Florida university system or tuition assistance for vocational training. To date, over 355 scholarships have been awarded.
The Foundation works collaboratively with it's partnersto identify qualified students. Eligible students must have a serious physical disability, qualify for the free and reduced lunch program and have at least a “C” average. Selected students are provided with a mentor until they graduate from high school. These students also sign a “contract” pledging to stay drug-free and crime-free in order to keep their scholarship. The contracts are signed at the Foundation’s annual ChairScholars Festival. The Festival is not a fundraiser but a free day of fun for our past and present ChairScholars, their families, mentors and our foundation supporters.
ChairScholars Foundation Volunteer Information
We have many volunteer opportunities available.
ChairScholars Foundation Donation Information
Donations are tax-deductible under the organization’s 501-(c)-3 status.