Heritage Bank Gives $50K Through Georgia GOAL

Stratford’s GOAL Scholarship Program received a $50,000 donation from Heritage Bank in September.

“This particular bank went above and beyond by donating a large gift,” Head of School Dr. Robert Veto said. “An individual can only donate up to $2,500 per household, so $50,000 goes a long way. What that means is that as many as 10 to 12 students can be awarded financial aid to come to Stratford who maybe wouldn’t have otherwise. This program has allowed us to expand further on the financial aid we already offer.”

The GOAL Scholarship Program supports students in K-12 private schools throughout Georgia. From the program’s initiation in 2008 through 2012, GOAL awarded more than $33 million in scholarships to nearly 9,000 students statewide, according to a Stratford press release announcing the donation. Stratford Academy has participated in the GOAL scholarship program since 2008 and has had 35 GOAL scholars in five years of participation.

“The whole program was designed to promote school choice so the families who otherwise couldn’t afford going to a private school could do so,” Veto said. Stratford has been promoting the program and a number parents, faculty, and staff have designated a portion of their state taxes to go to Stratford’s student scholarship organization (SSO) through the GOAL Scholarship Program.

“Taxpayers get to redirect up to $2,500 dollars or whatever their tax liability is to GOAL in Stratford’s name, so when Stratford has a student that comes in who’s eligible for GOAL money then we get to apply on their behalf,” said Mrs. Kathleen Medlin, director of development.

The total amount of money designated to Stratford Academy for the 2013 calendar year is $235,431, including the $50,000 Heritage Bank donation. The total amount of financial aid Stratford has disbursed to date from this amount  is $190,756.

“What all the GOAL scholars have in common is an interest in pursuing a college education for themselves and preparing for college in the best way they possibly can,” Veto said.