Established in 1999 by Jim Ayers of Parsons, Tenn., the Ayers Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people of Tennessee by positively affecting the fields of education, conservation and social welfare. The Ayers Foundation provides grant and scholarship money to organizations throughout Tennessee. The Ayers Foundation Scholars Program began with the vision of making higher education more accessible to young people in West Tennessee’s Decatur and Henderson counties. The Scholars Program was created to financially assist small-community students continue their education, through its own scholarships and with support in obtaining other sources of scholarship monies.
The Ayers Foundation’s goal was to see at least 75% of the high school graduates continue their education post high school. This goal has been exceeded each year of the program’s existence. Since its inception, the Ayers Foundation has awarded more than 2,000 scholarships. Graduating seniors are offered last dollar scholarships from the Ayers Foundation to pursue post-secondary education in the amount of up to $4,000 per year, up to 4 years. In addition The Ayers Foundation employs in each of the schools a College Access Counselor who works with the students starting with their freshman year in high school and until they complete their post-secondary education. With this year’s graduating class, this fall the Ayers’ scholars will total almost 800 students enrolled in some form of post-secondary education.