A nonprofit established by Riverside County Office of Education staff to assist low-income students with funding their post-high school educational pursuits is seeking partners in the business community to expand scholarship and other opportunities, it was announced Tuesday.

The Business Partners Program is an effort to enhance the Office of Education Foundation’s work in supporting programs that prepare youths for college and the workforce and ensure that they can pay their way toward achieving educational goals.

“It is my hope that local organizations will step up and join the Business Partners Program to demonstrate their commitment to the next generation of business and community leaders, who number 430,000 strong in the schools and classrooms across Riverside County,” Superintendent of Schools Judy White said.

The foundation has awarded more than $158,000 in scholarships since it was established in 2013, White said.

Annual membership dues for the new program will range from $500 to $5,000, depending on the sponsorship level that participants select.

Scholarship funding will remain at the core of the foundation’s mission, but officials said membership dues will also bolster student advancement programs that help keep youths on track or oriented to their career objectives.

“In reality, there are countless ways to impact students well before they graduate from our K-12 public school system,” said foundation Chair Ron Miller, who is also a county probation agent. “We are looking forward to developing creative approaches with members of the Business Partners Program interested in shaping the future workforce and emerging youth leaders in our county.”

Information about joining the program is available via foundation Director Ed Lewis, (951) 826-6345, or elewis@rcoe.us.

An overview of the foundation’s work can be found here: www.rcoe.us/foundation .

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