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New Carlotta Family and Friends Scholarship Fund at Horizon awards its first eight scholarships


The Carlotta Family and Friends Scholarship Fund, in partnership with Horizon Community Funds, has awarded eight scholarships of $500 each to high school students at Boone County High School and Cooper High School.

The Carlotta Family and Friends Scholarship Fund was created to honor Sam Carlotta, a Northern Kentuckian who lives as an inspiration to those around him, even after sustaining a spinal injury in his teenage years that left him facing a multitude of challenges and procedures to try to gain back some of his mobility and independence.

Carlotta dove into a pool at his family’s apartment complex in 1981 and hit his head and neck on an inner tube, leaving him with Brown Sequard Syndrome (BSS), a rare neurological condition which results in weakness or paralysis (hemi paraplegia) on one side of the body and a loss of sensation on the opposite side.

Sam Carlotta with the original check image that got the fund started. (File photo)

Initially, doctors weren’t sure they could fix Carlotta’s paralysis. However, after a complex procedure to implant a halo in his skull and two cervical fusion surgeries at Good Samaritan Hospital, and subsequent long-term occupational and physical therapy, rehabilitation, and additional procedures, Carlotta regained some mobility and function. A group of Carlotta’s closest friends and family surprised him with a $32,300 check to launch a new scholarship fund for Cooper High School students in Boone County.
 
“It is truly inspiring to see friends and family coming together to create positive change in our community,” said Nancy Grayson, President and CEO of Horizon Community Funds. “This scholarship fund will have a lasting impact on Northern Kentucky’s students, and we are grateful to be a part of it.”
 
“This has been an amazing year for our scholarship fund,” stated Sam Carlotta. “In our first year, we have been able to raise more than $34,000, create all the required documentation for the students, communicate with both high schools, accept twenty applications, be included in the senior awards night at both high schools, and award eight scholarships. None of this could have been accomplished without the assistance from the donors, family and friends, the fund’s steering committee, the principals and key staff members at Boone and Cooper High Schools, the students who applied, and Nancy and her wonderful staff at Horizon Community Funds. 

“Hopefully, this is just the start of bigger things to come as we look to establish a yearly fundraiser and expand to the other high schools in Boone County. One important thing we did change was to include trade schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges and universities. We made this change hoping to reach every student looking to further their education in diverse fields and careers. I am still overwhelmed by the thought and generosity of my family and friends who surprised me with this scholarship fund and for that, I thank them. Our goal is to positively impact as many lives as we can!”
 
Fund partnerships with Horizon Community Funds provide a flexible way for donors to support their preferred nonprofit organization or charitable effort. Donors can make an endowed gift to support the mission of the nonprofit organization for generations to come or can opt to make a non-endowed gift which provides funding for needs as they arise in Northern Kentucky. Horizon Community Funds offers donors and fund holders a deep connection to Northern Kentucky, including its nonprofits and needs.


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