Helios Education Foundation and UCF Celebrate Launch of the Downtown Scholars Initiative

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The number of students from Jones, Evans and Oak Ridge high schools in Orlando who earn degrees from the University of Central Florida (UCF) may soon increase thanks to a $2 million grant from Helios Education Foundation.

This philanthropic partnership between Helios and UCF will launch the UCF Downtown Scholars Initiative (UCF DSI) this summer to create new pathways to success at UCF for qualified students at the target schools. Inspired by Helios’ leadership and generosity, the university is also contributing funds to the new initiative, resulting in a combined investment of $3.25 million.

Braxton Barr, a senior at Jones High School and the class of 2022 salutatorian, said of his selection as a DSI scholar, “I am so excited to be a UCF DSI student and honored to be one of the first. This program has given me a great opportunity and it feels good to get a look at what I will be doing for the next four years. Go Knights!”

Watch the launch video here.