Wilson aims to create college prep program from $172,000 donation

Sophie Ludgin

Wilson alumni John Scott left his alma mater $172,000 in his will. A PTSO committee has decided to use the funds to create a college preparatory program.

The committee, led by member Jennie Bonney, has plans to form a week-long program aiming to “provide intensive support to a group of students to help them go through the college application process.” The program will target Wilson students from low-income families and first-generation college students. Students who are offered a spot in the program would be chosen in the spring of the previous school year.

The program will be held during the summer and consist of a “boot camp” style college-readiness itinerary. The schedule will include days for students to work on Common Applications, essay writing, scholarship applications, and so on.

The money donated by Scott will be used for hiring staff and professionals to help students with the application process. The PTSO aims to have the program set in place by this summer in order to help the class of 2020 rising seniors. A family member who informed the PTSO about the will also told them that Scott had very little stipulation about how his money would be spent. He did specify that it be used on the school and for students, but other than that left the use of his donation up to interpretation.

Scott served in the U.S. Army during World War II, and during his time in the armed forces, he helped liberate a concentration camp. He was a strong supporter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Holocaust Memorial Museum, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and the Southern Poverty Law Center. After serving in the army, he attended George Washington University.