INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- Simon Kenton High School junior Hailey Poe wants to attend Thomas Moore College and double-major in Spanish and environmental sciences. She's smart, ambitious and capable, but those qualities don't pay tuition — or standardized testing fees or rent.
Without help from the Kenton County Family Resource Youth Service Centers, which exist to serve teens like Poe, she said she might not have been able to seriously entertain the thought of college.
"I had gotten ACT vouchers to cover it if my parents didn't have the cost at the time," she recalled. "I had talked to them about different types of housing situations and what I could do. It's helped me stay focused in my education, not having to worry about outside influences."
The founders of a new nonprofit, Team Kenton Foundation, want to make sure every teen who needs the same help can get it.
"Team Kenton was formed to bridge financial gaps," Kenton County Schools assistant superintendent Kim Banta said. "We got tired of waiting on the governor. We want to help kids who want to apply to a college and can't afford the $35 application fee, or they want to go to welding school but they can't afford the welding mask."
All the money raised through donations and grants will benefit students, she said.
Team Kenton's first-ever fundraiser will be held at the Newport Aquarium April 26; all proceeds will benefit the county's Family Resource Youth Service Centers. Anyone wishing to attend can learn more online.