The Value of a College Education: Project One Scholarship Fund

The Value of a College Education: Project One Scholarship Fund

(By Dr. Eduardo Haynes - CWDR Research Affiliate - Charlotte, NC)

The value of a college education, upward mobility, and the plight of the disadvantaged have been and are still relevant topics in society. A recent study by Chetty, Hendren, Kline, & Saez (2014) spoke about the myth that the US is still abundant with opportunity for everyone. The authors studied the upward mobility in the largest 50 cities in the US, not surprisingly, Charlotte, NC was ranked 50th in the study. North Carolina has approximately 1.1 million or 49% of children that live in low-income families versus the national average of 45%, which is defined as a total household income below 200% of the standards set by the federal poverty guidelines (NCCP, 2012).

Children in NC, by income level, (NCCP, 2012)


With studies such as this, the call for action has been issued and a unique organization is answering the call. Project One Scholarship Fund was established to bridge the gap between children from single parent homes and the dreams of a college education. The founder, Neal Emmons was raised by a single mother and was sent to college by a family friend, now he feels compelled to pay it forward. Below is a caption from the Project One website...

"when it came time to graduate from high school, it was clear that college tuition was not in the budget.

That’s when close family friends stepped in and changed our lives. Out of sheer generosity and kindness, they provided the funds necessary to send my sister and me to college. I am forever grateful to those individuals who gave so much – when they could have easily looked the other way. It’s painful to think there are kids out there who are not so lucky.

That’s why I started Project One Scholarship Fund."



Project One is more than a monetary donation to attend college, it is a holistic approach to assessing gifts and talents, providing mentors, and financial literacy. The recipients of a Project One Scholarship will be positioned for success, which might not have been possible. How can we reshape staggering statistics like those mentioned above? If you would like to help improve upward mobility for NC or change the life of a child, contact Neal Emmons at Also, visit the website at 



Chetty, R., Hendren, N., Kline, P., & Saez, E. (2014). Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the U.S. Retrieved from

Neal Emmons (2014). Our Founder. Retrieved from
North Carolina: Demographics of Low-Income Children (2012). Retrieved from

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