The John T. Vucurevich Foundation closed out 2023 with $1.5 million dollars in grant awards to organizations that support families or individuals with educational, child care, or safety needs. The following organizations received grant awards:
- Local Scholarships: $955,000 in scholarships for local low-income students that face barriers to higher education at Western Dakota Tech, South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University, and Oglala Lakota College.
- Working Against Violence, Inc: $300,000 in general operations stabilization support after decrease in Victim’s of Crime Assistance Funding.
- Early Childhood Connections: $200,000 to stabilize Starting Strong child care providers in Rapid City
- Northern Hills Alliance for Children: $50,000 in operating support for quality child care in the Northern Black Hills.
Economic Mobility Scholarships
$955,000 – Two-year scholarship funding for local low-income students that face barriers to higher education at Western Dakota Tech, South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University, and Oglala Lakota College.
These Economic Mobility scholarships target low-income students currently living in the Rapid City or Black Hills area. Student awards range from $1,500 to $2,500 per semester. Each institution administers these scholarship programs.
About the Grant
The John T. Vucurevich Foundation awarded $955,000 in scholarships for low-income students facing barriers to higher education. Western Dakota Tech, South Dakota State University, Black Hills State University, and Oglala Lakota College each received two-year grants. These funds help individuals stay on the highway to educational success. These scholarships help Black Hills community members build the skills or get the education they need for the career they want.
JTVF awarded the following scholarship grants for the 2024-2025 & 2025-2026 academic years:
For more information on how to apply for these scholarship opportunities contact the financial aid office at each institution.
Working Against Violence, Inc.
$300,000 – One-year general operations stabilization support after decrease in Victims of Crime Assistance funding.
About the Grant
Working Against Violence, Inc. (WAVI)’s mission is to create a community free of domestic violence and sexual assault through advocacy, education, and support services. WAVI offers comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Domestic violence victims, primarily women and children face homelessness when they flee abusive homes because few safe places are available. They work diligently with individuals and families to become self-sufficient by addressing their immediate and long-term needs. Though they continue to have increased clients, needs, and expenses to keep the shelter safe and operational, their services remain available at no cost to clients.
This Basic Needs grant will help WAVI stabilize after a national decrease in Victims of Crime Assistance Funding.
Starting Strong (at Early Childhood Connections)
$200,000 – One-year funds to stabilize Starting Strong child care providers in Rapid City.
About the Grant
Starting Strong is a preschool scholarship program for three and four-year-old children and quality-building resource for participating preschool programs. This program helps to fill the gap for families that earn too much to qualify for Head Start but still earn too little to truly afford preschool for their child. Early Childhood Connections recruits families and helps them enroll their child in a quality preschool of their choice from participating providers. Participating providers also receive quality dollars from this grant that can be used for professional development, environmental improvements, and staff retention.
This Early Learning grant will help existing Starting Strong providers YMCA of Rapid City and Dream Kids retain and boost morale of current staff.
Northern Hills Alliance for Children
$50,000 – One-year operating support for quality child care in the Northern Black Hills.
About the Grant
Northern Hills Alliance for Children provides affordable, secure and quality child care and educational services to families with young children in the Northern Black Hills. As the only licensed child care provider in the Lead-Deadwood area, they support their community with high quality care and that starts by providing a livable wage for staff members. As an education-based childcare center that focuses on social and emotional learning, they believe that having amazing teachers makes their center successful in all aspects.
This Early Learning grant will support ongoing operations of the only licensed child care provider in the Lead Deadwood area.