Ava’s Grace Scholarship Foundation was founded on March 31, 2010 with the mission of providing scholarships for higher education to children who have an incarcerated parent or primary care giver. AGSF will award its first round of three scholarships in the summer of 2012.
Ava’s Grace is about Hope. It’s about Family. It’s about the Future. We aim to provide HOPE to children whose dreams have been compromised and lives have been forever altered by the actions of others. We strive to assist these young people in becoming productive members of their FAMILY unit and society. And we will work every day to give these special children a better FUTURE.
The founder of Ava’s Grace Scholarship Foundation, Stephanie Tinsley Regagnon, has a unique passion for this cause. With her husband Jason, they started AGSF with nothing more than a vision to provide a brighter future to children affected by incarceration and to turn their harrowing experience into something positive for others who are less fortunate. Stephanie’s mother was a college professor and higher education was a priority her home. Jason was raised by a single mother who stressed the importance of education as well. Both of their parents worked long hours and sacrificed much for them to be able to further their education. The Foundation is named after their only child, Ava Grace. Read their Story…
- 1 in 14 American children have a parent in prison.
- There are 44,360 children in the state of Missouri who have an incarcerated parent.
- In 2007 there were 809,000 parents in prison, an increase of 79% from 1991.
- 75% of women and 65% of men in prison are parents.
- 84% of parents in federal prisons are held over 100 miles away from their residence and their children. 43% of parents in federal prisons are held over 500 miles away!
- 54% of parents have not seen their children since they were incarcerated.
- The average age of an inmate is 38. An average federal sentence is 10 years. These parents are missing the formative years of their children’s lives.
- 20% of children entering the child welfare system have at least one incarcerated parent.
- Children with parents who have been incarcerated are 7 times more likely as other children to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
- It is estimated that the cost to society of allowing just one youth to leave high school to enter a life of crime or drug abuse is $1.7 to $2.3 million.