Since 1986, The Bootstraps Foundation has existed to assist persevering young men and women across Middle Tennessee who have, despite severe obstacles and hardships in life, miraculously placed themselves in a position to attend college. Each year The Bootstraps Foundation is flooded with applications from students who have the desire to expand their education beyond high school. Choosing between these deserving applicants is difficult.  We realize that our scholarships may make the difference between someone being able to better themselves through higher education or extinguishing the hope for these young people. Our goal is to increase the number of scholarships that we offer to the youth of Middle Tennessee every year.

The Foundation awards scholarships to Middle Tennessee students who show an ability to cope with and overcome difficulties, problems, and obstacles as well as seize opportunities. These students come from a variety of backgrounds; most are economically deprived, many are physically challenged, many come from broken, abusive homes. Some nominees have fled repression and social unrest in their native lands in order to build a better life in America. All the nominees, however, have hope and are determined to overcome their adversities and make their dreams come true.

“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody – a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns – bent down and helped us pick up our boots.”  Thurgood Marshall