Pastors and police raise money for education

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A couple hundred basketball fans crowded the Neighborhood Christian Center Saturday.

Memphis police officers and local ministers made up two teams dunking it out to help raise money to send Memphis kids to college.

“I know personally that I would not have been able to complete my education if it weren`t for financial assistance,” said Amber Bennett, executive director of Funds for Freshmen. She is passionate about raising money for incoming college students.

The organization is shooting to raise 25 thousand dollars in book scholarships to award this August.

They hope to help about 50 students in buying books for classes.

“They are very expensive. They can cost up to $500 for one book,” said Bennett.

Bennett says if the organization can handle part of the financial burden for families, it`s easier on the students.

“Research shows that 1 in 3 freshmen don`t go on to finish their degree,” said Bennett.

Memphis falls right in line with the national statistic. Only a third of people here have a degree. Memphis Mayor AC Wharton hopes to raise that percentage to a little over half of Memphians who hold degrees.

“In terms of getting the job force out there that we need, we have lots to do,” said Wharton.

So far Bennett and her team have scored about a third of their goal for higher education.

“We believe if you start strong, it leads to a successful finish,” said Bennett.

For more information about Funds For Freshmen, click here.

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