Scott High School seniors - and their parents and guardians - got a wonderful surprise the morning of Wednesday, January 29, when Pete Kadens, an Ottawa Hills native who now lives in Chicago, pledged to pay for their room and board, tuition and all fees for either college or a trade school.

Mr. Kadens, the retired CEO of Green Thumb, a national cannabis company, also made the same pledge for one parent or legal guardian of each student. For more information, visit Hope-Toledo.org

The offer covers any accredited Ohio public college, university or trade school, as well as Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti and Lourdes University in Sylvania. For the parent guardian, the offer is extended to any accredited public school, university or trade school within 45 miles of Scott, as well as Eastern Michigan and Lourdes.

In order to qualify, students must:

  • have been enrolled at Scott High School on Jan. 6 and must graduate before Aug. 15
  • complete federal student aid forms in a timely manner; staff members at Toledo Public Schools, Scott High School and H.O.P.E. Toledo, will be available to assist with completing the forms
  • write by June 15 a one to two-page essay detailing: their favorite class and why; their least favorite class and why; ways they can improve their performance in the upcoming school year; their biggest regret of the previous school year; and three primary goals for the upcoming school year

To be eligible for themselves, parents and guardians must:

  • have a student who was enrolled at Scott on Jan. 6 and graduates from Scott before Aug. 15
  • provide paperwork to prove their relationship with the child
  • complete federal student aid forms in a timely manner; they can also receive help with completing the forms

While they were still absorbing the news, the Scott families learned the nation would learn about their story. On the evening of Friday, January 31, the story was featured on the CBS Evening News with Norah O'Donnell by Toledo native Steve Hartman for the weekly On The Road segmentWatch it here: Toledo students and their parents surprised with free college tuition 

The Toledo media also got in on the coverage. Click to see how the tthe excitement of being in the Scott Fieldhouse on Wednesday: The Blade and Channel 13