Youngstown Foundation Enhances Y-STAR Program

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – In an effort to help more Youngstown City Schools students earn degrees at Youngstown State University, the Youngstown Foundation on Tuesday announced enhancements to its Y-STAR program.

Through the $3 million Y-STAR program, city school students earn full, four-year scholarships to YSU. Beginning this year, the program will cover the cost of personal computers, YSU-owned housing, meals and other expenses, a news release states.

“The goal is that Y-STAR students receive a loan-free college education right here in Youngstown,” said Lynnette Forde, president of the Youngstown Foundation.

“We have learned in recent years that, even though Y-STAR covered traditional expenses like tuition, books and fees, many students were faced with other costs that made it impossible for them to complete their education,” Forde said. “Many of them transferred to other universities where comprehensive scholarship programs took care of these other expenses, and some were forced to cut their college education short.

Y-STAR students are still required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, the release states.

As part of a new agreement between the foundation, university and school district, YSU has agreed to more actively promote its academic and social support services to Y-STAR participants. These social services “create a feeling of belonging” on campus that can make the difference between a student continuing at YSU, transferring to another university or dropping out, Forde said.

The school district has agreed to promote Y-STAR’s advantages more prominently to district students and their families. Forde said she believes more Youngstown students will enroll in Y-STAR if they understand the extent of the financial support available from the foundation, as well as the support services they can use at YSU.

Students interested in learning more about the Y-STAR program should contact their school’s guidance counselor or the financial aid office at YSU.

Ohio residents interested in donating to the Y-STAR program can learn more through the Youngstown Foundation’s website.

Pictured at top: From left are Lynnette Forde, president of the Youngstown Foundation; Jeremy Batchelor, superintendent of the Youngstown City School District; and Helen Lafferty, interim president of Youngstown State University.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.