Dr. David Ballard and his wife Linda both grew up in homes where giving back came naturally. People helped out when they could, it was a sense of responsibility. As they raised their family and achieved career success, the Ballards began to notice a trend of promising, accomplished students having to leave school over financial constraints. As their families had always done, they wanted to help out.
In 2018 they established the E. David and Linda C. Ballard Family Foundation Scholarship, focused on helping minority juniors and seniors at Atlanta-area colleges overcome financial barriers in order to graduate. In the first year, a total of $40,000 in scholarships were awarded to 14 students, helping to ease some financial stress so that students can focus on their course work. The Ballards’ adult children and their spouses are part of the application review process, which includes an in-person interview where at least one Ballard family member is present. “We want the students to see us and meet us,” Dr. Ballard said. “We aren’t just some anonymous funding source, we are here to let them know we care, and that we want them to succeed. We hope our efforts inspire them to pay it forward in the future.”
“We had no idea so many students were leaving school because they had exhausted all other financial avenues. The people who can be so instrumental in framing our futures were falling out of the system.” – Linda Ballard
This story was originally shared in our 2018 Annual Report. To read the full report, click here.