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Karen Shafer Perseverance Scholarship Fund

Raised toward our $25,000 Goal
56 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on June 30, at 03:39 PM CDT
Project Owners

Karen Shafer Perseverance Scholarship Fund


Higher education remains the great equalizer, but many students face tremendous obstacles to obtaining a degree. In memory of Karen Shafer, a former educator in USD 501 Topeka Public Schools and active community volunteer, her family established the Karen Shafer Perseverance Scholarship Fund for scholarship support for students in the Ichabod Success Institute.


An achievement gap persists for students who are the first in their families to go to college, from low socioeconomic backgrounds, or are minorities. These students are far less likely than their peers to persist and graduate. Targeted programming, however, is beginning to close this gap. Numbers from the Ichabod Success Institute indicate students in the program will obtain associate's degrees at double the national graduation rate by May 2018.

Additional funding is needed to help these first-generation, minority students gain access to a university education and persist through the bumps on their path to graduation.


Research demonstrates that a university degree remains the primary vehicle for social mobility. The Ichabod Success Institute is helping students obtain a life of opportunity and transform their family tree. Currently, the Ichabod Success Institute serves 20 students each year, supporting them through their first two years of study. The Karen Shafer Perseverance Scholarship Fund will help sustain the program at its current levels, and in the future, Washburn hopes it will help grow the program to include more students.


Central to the Ichabod Success Institute is the summer residential experience, where students live on campus and take six credit hours of courses during the summer before their first full-time semester. The Karen Shafer Perseverance Scholarship Fund will primarily go toward summer tuition. Donations will also contribute to the Institute Retention Fund, which helps Institute students overcome obstacles that otherwise may force them to drop out of college.

Choose a giving level


Influential Ichabods

Giving at this level, combined with others’ gifts, will help students meet basic needs.


Inspired Ichabods

You can help students cover the costs of activity fees or course materials.


Informed Ichabods

Gifts at this level could help a student purchase a textbook, a cost many students have trouble meeting.


Impassioned Ichabods

You can cover one credit hour of tuition for a student and keep them going on their educational journey.


Incredible Ichabods

Gifts at this level would cover tuition and fees for the summer institute (before Pell Grants are applied), and give the student a head start on their college education.