As many as 40 alumni of Kids Unlimited Academy could benefit from the charter school’s first scholarship fund.

Named for longtime KU board chair Chuck Martinez, the “Charlie’s Angels” fund was instituted at the organization’s 25th anniversary gala auction. Donors attending the event raised their auction paddles to pledge amounts ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars toward the first scholarships.

KU alumni take the stage at the 25th anniversary gala auction.

“We would like to allocate funds this summer so we can help our students transition into colleges and other meaningful opportunities,” said KU founder and CEO Tom Cole.

Cole conceived the scholarship fund to take effect this year, as KUA’s original third graders are graduating from high school. Out of KUA’s inaugural class of 52 students, about 42 have maintained ties with the organization and would be eligible to apply, said Cole, adding that KU staff is in the process of inviting students to make their pitch for an award.

KU alumna Yaremi Mejia, left, shares the impact of board member Chuck Martinez on her life and career.

The awards are open not only to students who are college-bound but also continuing their education through trade schools and apprenticeships, said Cole. Ranging in dollar amounts, awards will be based on need, he said, and take into account any other resources that prospective recipients may have.

KU alumni at the gala attested to Martinez’s influence on their career pursuits and successes. Instrumental in the charter school’s creation, said Cole, Martinez was a model of generosity, not only with his money, but his time and mentorship of KU youth.

“We are so grateful for the generosity of our donors to create Chuck’s ‘angels fund’ to help scholarships for graduates of KU Academy. To know that they can be supported to take the next steps in college and career goals is really humbling.”