EOA Foundation Opportunities for Giving

Listed below you will find the many ways in which you can donate and support the EOA Foundation's initiatives. For more information or questions, contact eoaf_advancement@eoa.org or 641-780-9394. Note: Your donation to the EOA Foundation may be tax deductible. 

Download a pdf copy of the Donation form here: EOAF Contribution Form


Donate Online Here


EOAF Growth and Stewardship Fund

The Growth and Stewardship fund supports annual or one-time scholarships that are not awarded through an existing endowed scholarship fund or dedicated account. Examples include EOA President’s Award, EOA Board Scholarships, EOAF Board Scholarships, and one-time memorial scholarships.

This fund also provides for the general operations of the Foundation. These include development activities, marketing and communications, fund stewardship, costs related to the distribution of scholarships and awards, compliance, accountability, training, board expenses, and other miscellaneous costs.


Arnold Mitchem and Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship Fund

“To make a dream come true, first you must dream…” ~ Dr. Ronald E. McNair

The Arnold Mitchem and Ronald E. McNair Graduate Fellowship Fund supports TRIO eligible students in the pursuit of graduate and professional degrees. The establishment of this fund was made by two major investments in EOAF for the purpose of supporting graduate study. The first came in 2004 when the Wisconsin Chapter of EOA (WAEOPP) made a major gift in honor of Dr. Arnold L. Mitchem, first president of EOA and past president and founder of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE). In 2008, the EOA Board of Directors invested $25,000 for the same purpose utilizing proceeds from McNair program conferences.

Throughout his long career, rooted in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Mitchem effectively and powerfully advocated for equal access to post-secondary education and to support services that increase the success of TRIO-eligible students. Dr. Ronald E. McNair was a physicist and NASA astronaut for whom the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program is named. Dr. McNair died in the 1986 failed launch of the space shuttle Challenger.

Bridges and Ladders Fund

The Bridges and Ladders Fund supports scholarships targeted to TRIO-eligible students who, because of the way they identify or are labeled by others, experience unique challenges and/or discrimination. Established in 2019 by the EOAF Board of Directors, the first scholarship was awarded in 2020 to an eligible student who identifies as LGBTQ+ and meets other selection criteria to be established by the EOAF Board.


Charles Cantale Leadership and Service Scholarship Fund 

The Charles Cantale Scholarship Fund was established by the EOAF board of directors in 2000 and was initially funded by Charles Cantale. Mr. Cantale organized scholarship fundraising activities at EOA professional conferences beginning in 1982 and was a leader in assisting EOA in raising funds for and awarding scholarships. Mr. Cantale became a founding board member of EOAF in 1982 and its first president.  Chuck raised more than $340,000 for the Foundation as president and established the Foundation’s first fundraising initiatives, including the Buck-A-Day, Buck-A-Week and the Buck-A-Month clubs. He endowed the Charles Cantale Award for Leadership and Service and continues to contribute to ensure its growth.

Emerging Leaders Institute Scholarship Fund

Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI) Scholarships are awarded to eligible students within the EOA region who demonstrate strong leadership in their community and/or advocacy efforts in their TRIO community.

The ELI Scholarship Fund was established in 2001 when professionals enrolled in EOA’s Emerging Leaders Institute made an initial contribution to the fund. Many subsequent ELI classes have worked collectively to raise significant funds to increase the size and number of awards given each year.

James B. Hamilton and Thomas G. Mortenson Research and Scholars Fund

‚ÄčThe James B. Hamilton and Thomas G. Mortenson Research and Scholars Fund provides awards to one student and one professional annually to support research and scholarly projects that are consistent with the goals and purposes of EOA. 

Dr. Hamilton (1933-1994), professor of chemistry and assistant provost at Michigan State University, was one of the earliest to advocate that TRiO and EOP programs develop research and data to support the importance of programs and services for low-income and first-generation students.

Mr. Mortenson, Senior Scholar at the Pell Institute for The Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, edits and publishes Postsecondary Education Opportunity, a research newsletter devoted to analysis of social, historical, political, and economic data related to educational opportunity after high school. He serves as a consultant to state and national organizations. Mr. Mortenson is widely sought as presenter on educational opportunity nationally and internationally.

Ralph L. Pruitt Scholarship Fund

The Ralph L. Pruitt Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually. Selection criteria include participation in a TRIO program in the relevant chapter for the year of selection, enrollment in or anticipated enrollment in an accredited two or four-year post-secondary institution, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, and demonstrated significant involvement in co-curricular and/or community activities.  The nominator must be an EOA member.  Dr. Pruitt, a mathematics professor at Cleveland State University, was among the founders of EOA.

Robert Jenkins Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Robert Jenkins Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually. Selection criteria include participation in a TRIO program in the relevant chapter for the year of selection, enrollment in or anticipated enrollment in an accredited two or four-year postsecondary institution, cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, and demonstrated significant involvement in co-curricular and/or community activities. The nominator must be an EOA member.

Mr. Jenkins directed Educational Talent Search for the Higher Education Consortium of Metropolitan St. Louis and served for many years as EOA Treasurer. He was committed to broadening student access and success in formal and post-secondary education. EOA recognized Mr. Jenkins as an Honorary Professional Member and, in 2018, he was inducted into the MKN (Missouri-Kansas-Nebraska) Hall of Fame.

Silas Purnell Scholarship Fund

Silas Purnell Scholarships are awarded annually in the amount of $1,000 on a rotating basis through the EOA chapters. Selection criteria include participation in an EOP or TRIO program in the relevant chapter during the year of selection, enrollment in or anticipated enrollment in an accredited two or four-year post-secondary institution, financial need, cumulative GPA of 2.8 or above, and demonstrated significant involvement in co-curricular and/or community activities. The nominator must be an EOA member.

Silas Purnell worked for Talent Search at the Ada S. McKinley Community Center in Chicago. He served needy and deserving students for 34 years and was a nationally recognized advocate for equal access for low-income and first-generation students. Mr. Purnell developed a national alumni network of students who participated in his Talent Search Program in Chicago who have made significant contributions in higher education and in the private sector.

Tendaji Ganges Memorial Scholarship Fund

The Tendaji Ganges Memorial Scholarship Fund are awarded annually in the amount of $1,000 to eligible students who demonstrate significant co-curricular and/or community involvement and have been deeply impacted by participation in TRIO/EOP programs. This scholarship rotates each year through EOA Chapters. The scholarship is renewable, for each awardee, for up to four years ($4,000 maximum per awardee).

Mr. Ganges dedicated over 40 years of his life to pre-college and college level students serving as a mentor, teacher, consultant, senior level administrator, and in other roles within higher education and educational opportunity communities. He was a tireless advocate for disadvantaged students working to improve and increase the services and resources necessary to support student success. Prior to retirement, Mr. Ganges served as the Executive Director of the Office of Educational Opportunities Initiatives and the Assistant to the Provost at the University of Michigan-Flint for nearly 20 years. Mr. Ganges was a longtime supporter and member of the EOAF Board of Directors.

Veterans Scholarship Fund

The Veterans Scholarship Fund provides two scholarships in the amount of $500 each year for undergraduate study to applicants within the EOA region who are honorably discharged veterans or current members of the Armed Services (Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Reserves, or National Guard). Applicants must be currently enrolled in or anticipating enrollment in an accredited two or four-year post-secondary institution. Applicants must be current or former participants in a TRIO/EOP program.

The Veterans Scholarship Fund was established through the advocacy of Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) project directors and was first awarded in 2014.


"Educational Opportunity Association" is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. 8032 22nd Avenue #5054, Kenosha, WI 53143

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