The Eileen Kelley Memorial Memorial Preschool Scholarship

The Eileen Kelley Scholarship

Eileen Kelley served as a dedicated and compassionate preschool teacher at Widening World Preschool in Lake County, Ohio, for over 15 years. Her unwavering commitment to providing her students with a solid educational foundation earned them their deep affection and respect. Throughout her career, Eileen was troubled when children had to withdraw from preschool due to financial hardships. This emotional impact led the Kelley Family to establish the Eileen Kelley Preschool Memorial Scholarship Fund (TEKPMSF) in her honor following her passing from a rare form of appendix cancer on April 23, 2009. The scholarship seeks to address the financial barriers that hinder children’s access to preschool education, thus continuing Eileen’s legacy of ensuring every child can thrive academically.

Goal and Objective

The Eileen Kelley Memorial Preschool Scholarship Fund aims to:
  • Reduce the likelihood of early withdrawal from preschool due to financial hardship.
  • Provide access to quality preschool experiences.
  • Prepare children for kindergarten.
Administered by Starting Point, the scholarship serves children attending preschool programs in Ashtabula, Geauga, and Lake Counties in Ohio.


  • Preschool Programs: Licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) or the Ohio Department of Education (ODE).
  • Families: Must have a child enrolled in an eligible preschool program, aged between three and five years old, and not yet in kindergarten.
  • Hardship Criteria: Includes loss of income due to unforeseen circumstances such as employment termination, severe medical illness, death in the immediate family, or similar situations.

Families facing financial hardship can apply for assistance anytime during the school year.

Program Funding

TEKPMSF is funded by donations from individuals and organizations connected to Eileen Kelley and the Kelley Family. The fund is sustained through additional contributions and periodic fundraisers in collaboration with Starting Point.

How to Apply

Referrals and applications are made through qualifying preschool programs. Scholarships are awarded on a case-by-case basis, and funding is limited. Once funds are exhausted for the program year, a waiting list will be implemented. 

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