Workplace injuries don't just impact the person who gets hurt on the job. They can also take an enormous toll on families of the injured worker – physically, emotionally, and financially. Often it is the children of injured workers who are asked to take on more responsibilities than other kids their age – from taking part-time jobs to becoming part-time caretakers. Sometimes this can mean sacrificing their dreams of continuing their education.
Back in 1998, Pinnacol executives discovered Kids' Chance, a nonprofit corporation developed by the Workers’ Compensation Section of the State Bar of Georgia. The group provides financial scholarships for children of permanently or catastrophically injured or deceased workers to complete their education.
In 2000, with guidance from Kids’ Chance, Pinnacol formed the Pinnacol Foundation. The Pinnacol Foundation College Scholarship Program awards scholarships to the children of workers who have been killed or seriously injured in a work-related accident while working for a Colorado employer regardless of insurance carrier.
Since its inception in 2000, the Pinnacol Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million in scholarships to more than 200 students for post-high school education. The average scholarship amount is $3,000 for one year. Students can use the funds at any accredited institution of higher learning and may reapply up to five years or to age 25. For the 2010-2011 academic year The Pinnacol Foundation has awarded $290,250 in scholarships to 96 students.
“Five years after my husband’s death, the Pinnacol Foundation is still there for us,” said Jandale Carter of Greeley. Her husband, Barry Carter, a salvage yard mechanic, was killed in a work accident in 2005. Over the last four years, both her children have received the Pinnacol scholarship.
“We are so excited that Daniel was awarded a scholarship,” said Janice Frank-Tappy of Sterling whose son, Daniel Frank, will enter the Colorado School of Mines this fall. His father, Joseph Frank, was killed in a highway maintenance accident. “I am very proud of him, and I know his father would have been too.”
“It is a challenge for many children to get the education they want and deserve when a parent’s ability to work is taken away unexpectedly,” said Carole Sumption, chair of the Pinnacol Foundation Board of Directors. “Pinnacol recognizes that education is the key to Colorado’s future, and this is one way the company can help give these students opportunities for a bright future.”
If you know of someone who might be eligible for one of these scholarships please let them know about this program. They can find additional information, including how to apply, by clicking here.