The Bootstraps Foundation scholarship nominees are diverse. They 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.


The Bootstraps Foundation mails scholarship¬†nominations to high school counselors in Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties. The counselors then approach a qualified senior at their school and assist the student in completing and sending in the application. All applications are initially reviewed by the Foundation’s board, which then narrows it down to 12-15 finalists. These finalists’ applications are then reviewed by the Selection Committee, which includes both board members and community members, based on the same criteria. Depending on the Foundation’s financial ability, five to six recipients are selected to receive scholarships.


Among the criteria for receiving a scholarship from The Bootstraps Foundation, a student:

  • Must be a high school senior in Davidson, Cheatham, Robertson,Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson or Wilson county;
  • Must succeed in academics (not necessarily a 4.0 grade average), and demonstrate academic performance suggesting that the student is likely to succeed in college;
  • Must show an ability to cope with and overcome difficulties, problems, or obstacles as well as seize opportunities;
  • Must have a desire and a plan to continue his or her education and have pursued other scholarships, grants, loans, etc.;
  • Must show involvement in school and community activities and demonstrate leadership qualities;
  • Must have a high level of personal integrity.