Paul A. Demshar Foundation Makes $10,000 Gift to Rising Scholars

The Paul A. Demshar Foundation is announcing a gift of $10,000 to the Ashtabula Foundation to support Kent State University at Ashtabula’s Rising Scholars program.


The Rising Scholars program supports a select group of promising students who have been identified by their school district as having promising academic ability, but may not have access to social and educational opportunities that will allow them to reach their potential. These students are mentored by current Kent State Ashtabula students with a goal of increasing their high school graduation rates to 90 percent and having at least 50 percent of them attend a college or university after high school. Currently, 15 percent of Ashtabula County students do not graduate from high school and only 13 percent of adults over 25 have a four-year college degree. 


Rising Scholars who participate in the full program, maintain a 2.5 GPA, and agree to mentor new students entering the program during their college years will be eligible to receive a scholarship for full tuition to Kent State University. 


The Rising Scholars program is an expansion of Kent State’s “Rural Scholars” program, and incorporates best practices from other rural high schools. Many rural counties struggle with poor high school performance, low graduation rates, and relatively low college attendance, although national attention is focused primarily upon urban schools. The combination of six years of mentorship from older peers and a subsequent scholarship to Kent State Ashtabula is meant to prepare these students to join the local workforce and just as importantly, to serve as mentors themselves.


The Paul A. Demshar Foundation was created to honor the late Paul A. Demshar, CPA, of Ashtabula who often anonymously helped others.  The Foundation is keeping alive Paul’s personal philosophy of “paying it forward”.  In addition to this initiative, the Paul A Demshar Foundation also awards multiple scholarships each year to deserving local high school students.

For more information about the Rising Scholars program, visit For more information on the Demshar Foundation, please visit   

POSTED: Wednesday, November 13, 2019 - 9:42am
UPDATED: Friday, December 20, 2019 - 11:22am
Kent State Ashtabula Communications and Marketing