LOUISVILLE,Ky — A group of Jefferson County Public Schools seniors got a surprise Tuesday when they were awarded the district’s employee-sponsored student scholarship by superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio. 

What You Need To Know

  • JCPS surprises high school seniors with college scholarships

  • The checks range from $5,000 to $14,200

  • Donations from district’s teachers and staff fund scholarship

  • Over $200,000 in aid has been given out over the last four years


They awarded six students the scholarship, and each received between $5,000 and $14,200. $66,200 was given out. 

“It’s just amazing, so it’s really rewarding to be able to give kids money, scholarships, that are going to last them through their first year of college,” Dr. Pollio said. 

The scholarship recipients are:

  • Charlotte Arnold - $16,000. She plans to attend Florida A&M University and study pre-pharmacy. 

  • Ahmerah Jackson - $11,000. She plans to attend the University of Louisville and become a special education teacher.

  • Giovanni (Gio) Akpaglo - $5,000. He plans to attend the University of Louisville and study nursing.

  • Kayden Coury - $15,000. She plans to attend the University of Kentucky and enter its hospitality program.

  • Jesse Lee - $5,000. He plans to attend the University of Kentucky.

  • Ty’Liyah O’Neal - $14,500. She will study to become a dental hygienist at Tennessee State University. 

The money for this generous gift comes from district faculty and staff who donate at the beginning of the school year. An additional $10,000 came from awards won by the district and Dr. Pollio. 

“Its very rare that you get to see it first hand right there and experience making a difference for kids so I would thank anyone who contributed to this scholarship to say you’ve made a difference in a child’s, six children’s lives today,” Dr. Pollio said. 



This is the fourth year the district has given out these scholarships. Dr. Pollio established the fund to help students who would have a hard time paying for school.

“When we had them during the interviews tell us about their financial needs, so many of them said, ‘well I’ve got enough for my first semester’, well what are you going to do after that? ‘I’m not sure, you know I’ll begin to take out loans’,” Dr. Pollio said. ”Just to think that we can take that way from some of these kids, it’s pretty special.”

Dr. Pollio said this is his second favorite day of the school year, only beat out by graduation. The scholarship is open to JCPS seniors who have showed financial need.