In 2015, Bass Smith Connection (BSC), a non-profit organization, was birthed. Founded by four (4) friends, Vernon and Sunna Bass, and Jamel and Nettie (Carter) Smith, BSC’s mission is two-fold:
- To “Party with A Purpose (PWP).” Proceeds generated from our parties go directly to graduating minority high school and current college students, seeking financial assistance to complete their post-secondary educational studies.
- To remain “connected” with our recipients and provide additional positive support and encouragement. We stand “in the gap” with our recipients to help them navigate the day-to-day challenges they face as they adjust to college life.
Since our inception, we’ve hosted 3 PWP events a year. We have a Beer and Wine Tasting Event in April, an outdoor All White Attire Event in August and A High Heels and Bow Ties Event in November. Many attendees have described our events as “a wonderful experience.” Our attendees range between the ages of 30 and 75 years old and all seem to blend and have a good time. Although many come to have a good time, our purpose is always in the forefront at our events and shared with our attendees.
Our board of directors consists of the four of us, Roger and Sharon Evans and Sheila Rice. These individuals are pillars of our community, and have used their time, talents and treasures for many years serving on numerous non-profit boards in our community. Their wisdom, knowledge and experience are invaluable to BSC. They support our mission and vision,
and understand the importance of higher education, service to our community and our youth.
BSC awards 3 scholarships to eligible students at different times. Two of our scholarships are awarded directly through BSC and scholarship applications are accepted in March and in September. Recipients of those scholarships are awarded in August and November. The third scholarship award is given through Clark State Community College. The application and awards are in accordance to their schedule. BSC can award up to $1,000.00 a year per student per year.
Since 2015, we have been intentional to share our mission and vision in the community. We have worked diligently to gain sponsorship for all our events and connect with other professional adults to spread our mission throughout Springfield and surrounding areas.
To date, BSC has awarded $30,000.00 in scholarships! We were blessed to award $4,000.00 in 2015, $5,000.00 in 2016 and $4,500.00 in 2017. 2018 was a record year for BSC, giving out $10,500.00 in scholarship doubling the amount of money we were able to give for scholarships in 2017!
2018 was our best year in terms of the number of scholarship recipients, money awarded for scholarships, and the amount of sponsorship money given to BSC. In 2018 we gave 15 students scholarship money totaling $10,500.00. Additionally, since 2015, we provided Clark State Community College a minimum of $2,000.00 yearly for a scholarship that we established through their foundation. Five Clark County graduates were awarded a total of $3,500.00 and 10 full-time college students were awarded $500.00 each. Our goal in 2019 is to provide more scholarship funding than 2018!
FRIENDS OF BSC SCHOLARSHIP:
In 2018, BSC created the “Friends of BSC Scholarship.” This new branch of BSC allows anyone in our community or connected to Springfield to establish a scholarship in honor of themselves or in the memory of a loved one. The originator of the Friends of BSC scholarship, family members, friends, or the community that desires to donate financially can help support these scholarships yearly. The originator of the scholarship has committed to give a $500.00 or $1,000.00 donation annually. In 2018 BSC established 7 “Friends of BSC Scholarships.” In 2018, the Friends of BSC Scholarships were responsible for $2,750.00 in scholarship money for students.
2019 TO DATE:
In 2019 BSC has gotten off to a great, allowing us to increase the number of scholarship awards to students attending college. In August BSC awarded 6 $1,000.00 to 6 high school graduates who will embark on their college career this fall. BCS also awarded 2 Clark State Students the BSC scholarship established through the college to pay for their summer and fall semesters. Additionally, we awarded 3 $500.00 scholarships to 3 prior recipients. 2 of our $500.00 recipients completed their undergraduate degrees in May and are full-time Graduate students on course to complete their Master’s degree in Social Work. The other recipient is enrolled full-time to earn her nursing degree. All 3 will graduate in 2020! This is an additional $3,000.00 is more than what we were able to give out last year at this time. In November we plan to award several $500.00 dollar scholarships to current full-time college students that will apply for our scholarship beginning in September. We hope to give more scholarship money this year, improving from 2018!
Additionally, in 2019, the Friends of BSC Scholarship branch has also grown. To date, 5 new Friends that have established new scholarship branches, bringing our total to 13! To date, we currently have 3 other Friends of BSC scholarships pending!
As we move forward in 2019, we hope to grow our mission so we are not only connected with our current college recipients, but we plan to establish new relationships with high school students prior to their senior year. We will provide additional support to help them finish high school and be better prepared to attend college. We are looking to secure funding to provide programming that improves our student’s academic performance, develop and/or enhance their “soft skills” and help them navigate through the college process effectively. Ultimately, our goal in this area is to prepare our students so they are “college ready and successful.”
We also see a critical piece to our mission is to build relationships with employers who will provide mentorship and/or relevant job shadowing opportunities for our current recipients in their field of study. This will better prepare them for the workforce. These opportunities will help prepare our students for the next phase of their lives and remain connected.
BSC PWP 4321! 4 Friends, Who took 3 Different Career Paths Come Together 2 Sow Seeds for 1 Goal, 1 Purpose!!!