Carson Scholars Fund, Inc.

Discovering Promise... Rewarding Excellence

aka CSF   |   Towson, MD   |  http://www.carsonscholars.org

Mission

The Carson Scholars Fund supports two main initiatives: the Carson Scholars Program and the Ben Carson Reading Project. The scholarship program recognizes and rewards students in grades 4-11 who exemplify high academic excellence and humanitarian qualities with scholarships for college. The Ben Carson Reading Project creates inviting and exciting reading rooms in schools for students to discover the joy of independent, leisure reading.

Ruling year info

1994

President

Dr. Nancy Grasmick

Executive Director

Mrs. Amy E. Warner

Main address

305 W Chesapeake Ave Suite 310

Towson, MD 21204 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

USA Scholars Fund

EIN

52-1851346

NTEE code info

Scholarships, Student Financial Aid, Awards (B82)

Elementary, Secondary Ed (B20)

Remedial Reading, Reading Encouragement (B92)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The Carson Scholars Fund was founded in 1994 to address the education crisis in the United States. When now retired world-renowned Johns Hopkins Pediatric Neurosurgeon Benjamin S. Carson, M.D. and his wife, Candy, read a study about education in the U.S., they were alarmed by the findings. The study showed that our nation's students ranked #21 out of 22 countries; next to the bottom of the list in science and math. Furthermore, the Carsons observed that many school's display cases were filled with trophies paying tribute to their sports teams' achievements, while honor students only received a pin or certificate. Dr. and Mrs. Carson believed that if children could be taught and encouraged early to excel, they would stay motivated and have a higher chance of educational success later in life. CSF accomplishes this task through the Carson Scholars Program and the Ben Carson Reading Project.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

The Ben Carson Reading Project

The Ben Carson Reading Project is the second initiative of the Carson Scholars Fund. The primary purpose of the program is to provide funding and support to schools so that they can create a nurturing environment for children to feel safe and secure as they develop their reading skills. The Reading Project is dedicated to combating illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child's potential. Each room is filled with hundreds of books for students to explore from a variety of authors, topics, and genres. The Reading Room is decorated with attractive, eye-catching artwork based on Dr. Carson's "THINK BIG" philosophy.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Carson Scholarships are awarded to students in grades 4-11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities demonstrated through community service. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship that is invested towards their college education and are celebrated amongst peers at regional awards banquets.

Population(s) Served
Students

Where we work

Awards

William E. Simon Prize in Philanthropic Leadership 2005

The William F. Simon Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amount of scholarship awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adolescents, Children, Preteens

Related Program

Carson Scholars Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

These totals represent the total amount of scholarship money awarded each year.

Number of academic scholarships awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Preteens, Children, Adolescents

Related Program

Carson Scholars Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

These totals represent the number of scholarships awarded per each year. *scholarships awarded prior to 2016 are not individually reported

Number of reading rooms created per year

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Children and youth

Related Program

The Ben Carson Reading Project

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

*Rooms established prior to 2016 are not individually reported.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Carson Scholars Fund (CSF) has two main educational initiatives. The first, the Carson Scholars Program, aims to identify and reward the nation's best and brightest students in grades 4-11. By recognizing students as early as fourth grade who excel academically and also display humanitarian qualities, the CSF promotes a college-bound culture in schools and provides guidance and support to the nation's next generation of leaders. The CSF believes that recognizing students' accomplishments early in life will provide the encouragement and motivation needed to continue to excel.
The second mission, the Ben Carson Reading Project, raises awareness of the importance of everyday, leisure reading. Reading rooms are built in schools across the country and encourage lifelong literacy and learning and help young children develop their reading skills. Development of reading rooms, the initiative of the Ben Carson Reading Project, is part of the Carson Scholars Fund's long-term plan to impact education and promote early-grade literacy.

Carson Scholars Program:
The purpose of the Carson Scholars Program is to recognize and reward outstanding students in the United States enrolled in grades 4-11 who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. We do this by awarding Carson Scholars with $1,000 scholarships invested towards a four-year college or university, an Olympic-sized medal and certificate, and an invitation to a regional recognition ceremony. Their schools receive a trophy to be displayed proudly at the school. The aim is to add value to academic achievements and to refocus the spotlight on education; too often athletic achievements are recognized more than academic success. The goal of the Carson Scholars Program goes beyond instilling an interest in college early and assisting with the costs of college. Carson Scholars are role models and leaders in their schools. They encourage other students to strive for excellence and serve as peer role models. The Carson Scholars Recognition Program affirms the prestigious status of Carson Scholars in their pursuit of academic and career goals. This elite honor continues to recognize Carson Scholars who, year after year, meet the high expectations of the program. Scholars are honored with a special recognition package consisting of notification of their scholar status renewal, a commemorative pin to attach to the ribbon of their original medal, and a certificate of achievement. Schools continue to receive a trophy (or nameplate) to recognize the scholars who have been recognized through this program each year.
Ben Carson Reading Project:
The goal of the Ben Carson Reading Project is to create literacy-enriched environments in schools for children to develop their reading skills. The reading project is dedicated to combatting illiteracy and promoting leisure reading as a key to unlocking a child's potential. The CSF accomplishes this by providing funding and support to schools to build reading rooms. The reading rooms are filled with hundreds of books for students to explore a variety of authors, topics, and genres. The reading room is decorated with attractive, eye-catching artwork based on Dr. Carson's "THINK BIG" philosophy. The cozy, nurturing environment encourages students and their families to come together to recognize the importance of everyday, leisure reading. While many students have the opportunity to visit the school library, most of the time spent in the library is devoted to curricula instruction, researching a subject, or writing book reports. For many students a visit to the library is an arduous task rather than a pleasant experience. The Ben Carson Reading Project allows schools the opportunity to purchase high-interest reading materials. In addition, students rarely have an opportunity to select their reading materials in a classroom setting. In the reading room, students have the freedom to choose their own books. When students choose what they read, they will read more.

Carson Scholars Program:
The Carson Scholars Program is available to any accredited school in the United States that applies to participate in our program. The CSF maintains an updated distribution list of all the schools from across the country that have applied to participate in the Carson Scholars Program. Each fall, educators from the schools on the distribution list are sent nomination materials with instructions on how to nominate one student, unless otherwise told, to apply for the scholarship. Within 48 hours of nomination, the student will receive an email with a secure link to the online application, which is due in January. Applications include the student's information, a current report card, details about the student's community service, an essay and up to three recommendation letters. Applications are scored by a panel of qualified judges. Winner and non-winner scholars and schools are notified come March. Each Carson Scholar is then invited with their family to the closest regional awards ceremony where they are celebrated and recognized for their achievements. After the ceremony, each school is sent a trophy or nameplate with the scholar's name to proudly display at the school. Our state of the art contact management system, along with our various regional chapters and expansion coordinators, allow the Carson Scholars Program to be scaled nationally.
Ben Carson Reading Project:
Once funding is secured for a reading room, a thorough vetting of schools in the area is conducted. The CSF looks for a school with available space for a reading room and dedicated and enthusiastic staff members to ensure long-term success of the room. Reading room project committees are established at the school and work to make all aspects of the project come to fruition: books, furniture and decor, incentives, and planning for the opening day ceremony. School committees prepare orders for books, furniture, decorations, and incentives to use in the reading room. The CSF reviews, approves, and provides direct payment for all orders. After the room is created, the school plans an opening day and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of their reading room. Donors, stakeholders, and prominent community members are invited to attend the ceremony. The school is then responsible for daily management of the reading room and is asked to provide bi-annual reports to the CSF.

The Carson Scholars Program and the Ben Carson Reading Project have accomplished much success over the CSF's 25 years of existence. As of 2021, CSF has awarded more than 10,000 scholarships in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Over 810 colleges and universities have (or had) Carson Scholars. The CSF has an alumni network of over 8,000 individuals (scholars old enough to have graduated from high school). More than $8 million dollars has been paid out to colleges or universities on behalf of the scholars. One of the goals of the Carson Scholars Program since CSF's inception was to have a Carson Scholar in every school in the country. Each year the CSF continues to expand its reach so that one day each school across the U.S. might have a Carson Scholar.
The Ben Carson Reading Project, established in 2000, has grown from just one reading room in Aberdeen, MD to over 230 reading rooms in 23 states and Washington, DC. The reading project has had tremendous success in literacy outcomes among schools. Outcomes have included overall improved reading skills, increased time reading, increased love of reading, increased motivation and belief in one's “own success" and an increased desire to learn among reading room readers. The Ben Carson Reading Project also continues to expand its reach and strives to have a presence in each state across the U.S.

Financials

Carson Scholars Fund, Inc.
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Carson Scholars Fund, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 10/5/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Lee Warner

Candy Carson

Lee Warner

Wes Guckert

Graylin Smith, CPA

David Bower

BJ Carson

Murray Carson

Mary Costa

Fran Donahue

Louis Friedman, Esq.

Phyllis Friedman, Esq.

Kenneth Lukhard

Hailey Cramer

Nancy Grasmick, PhD.

Dave Ross

Audrey Jones

Kevin Hollins

Steve Adler

Michael McCarthy

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/05/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data