Our High School Program
After 23 years of providing scholarships solely to K – 8, BISON began offering high school scholarships to our 8th grade graduates. While we were extremely proud of our impact on WNY’s littlest learners, we knew the need remained once our BISON scholars left 8th grade and enrolled in high school.
Only 60% of BISON 8th graders continue onto a private high school. However, more would like to attend a private high school but can’t afford it. Additionally, some of these families who initially commit to a private school need to transfer to a public or charter school because of financial reasons.
Offering a high school scholarship to BISON families who have made the financial sacrifice for elementary school is a natural expansion for the BISON Fund. Expanding our program will provide even more pathways to successful futures for children and families who might otherwise not get the opportunity they’ve earned.
Currently, BISON is awarding nearly 100 scholarships at $3,500 annually. By 2021-22, there will be 200 BISON high school scholars. This growth comes at a significant cost but we were able to expand our program thanks to generous donors and collaboration with education-oriented foundations. We also have two (2) memorial scholarships including:
- Judy Carr Beecher ’58 Memorial Scholarship, in memory of one of our BISON founders who passed away in late 2017, whose passion was to make school choice a reality for every child in Western New York. This scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, Judy’s alma mater.
- Thomas J. Comer, Jr. ’81 Memorial Scholarship, in memory of a tireless champion of BISON, its work and children in general who passed away suddenly in the fall of 2017. Tom was a BISON board member for 10 years and chair of the Development Committee for BISON. Tom’s goal was to expand to follow our BISON scholars into high school to help families continue with private education. This scholarship is awarded to an incoming freshman at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute, Tom’s alma mater.
Buffalo’s future is dependent on our area’s young people. That’s why it is so important for families to choose strong academic institutions. BISON scholarships are helping our area’s learners prepare for high school, college and, ultimately, a career. By starting early in the educational process, we will have the greatest impact on our area’s future business and community leaders.