Drew Partridge wouldn’t have been able to afford Arizona State University, if it wasn’t for the scholarship he received from the Chandler Education Foundation last year.
“I’d probably be going to a community college and not getting the full effect of university life,” said Partridge, 19, who graduated from Hamilton High School last year and is majoring in business at ASU. “I also would probably be living at home instead of at the dorms.”
Partridge is one of 141 students receiving the scholarships last year.
The foundation has been helping Chandler Unified School District students go to college since 1999, said Dianne Welling, assistant executive director for the Chandler Education Foundation, the fundraising arm for the Chandler district.
This is also the first year in which all three district high schools — Hamilton, Chandler and Basha — will benefit since Basha High School will graduate its first seniors.
One of the major fundraisers for this year’s scholarships ends today — a raffle for a Mercedes CLK350 convertible valued at $54,000.
The winning ticket will be pulled at 7:30 p.m. at the Chandler Fashion Center by two former Chandler high school football players now playing for NFL teams: Terrell Suggs of the Baltimore Ravens, and Adam Archuleta of the St. Louis Rams.
The $20 tickets can be purchased at any Chandler district school or at Chandler Fashion Center.
Four dollars from every ticket goes back to the school selling it, with the rest of the proceeds helping to fund scholarships, Welling said.
In order to earn the $1,000 scholarships, freshman have to sign a commitment form in which they agree to keep at least a 3.4 cumulative grade point average, have at least a 95 percent attendance rate and contribute 100 hours of community service during their high school careers, Welling said.
For Partridge, who also received two other scholarships and a matching donation from the W.P. Carey School of Business, the money was a lifesaver, and he said he loves college.
“I like it because I feel like a man for the first time,” Partridge said. “I’ve started doing things for the first time and relying on myself.”
What: Chandler Education Foundation Mercedes raffle to fund scholarships
Where: Chandler Fashion Center, in the mall in front of Dillard’s, with a reception at the Wildflower Bread Co.
When: 6:30 p.m. today
Information: (480) 812-7633