ScholarShot and Education Opens Doors win big at United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ second annual OneUp the Pitch competition

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United Way of Metropolitan Dallas’ second annual OneUp the Pitch competition, open to fellows of the organization’s GroundFloor accelerator program, gave out top awards in front of a live audience on Apr. 12 at The Bomb Factory in Dallas. ScholarShot was named Social Innovator of the Year and won the top prize of $75,000. Education Opens Doors was named the audience favorite, winning $25,000.

“I’m just so grateful,” Dan Hooper, Founding Executive Director of ScholarShot, told D Magazine after winning the top prize. “For all of these organizations, just being on the stage is a huge boost in regards to awareness and funding.”

Three other GroundFloor alumni also participated in the competition: Center for Employment Opportunities, First3Years, and Youth with Faces. Judges for the event included David Brown, retired Dallas Police Chief; Jack D. Furst, Founder and CEO of Oak Stream Investors; Ken Hersh, President and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center; Amber Venz Box, President and Co-Founder of rewardStyle and; and Todd Wagner, Founder and CEO of Charity Network and CEO of 2929 Entertainment.

2017 inaugural OneUp the Pitch winners were Akola and Bonton Farms.


ScholarShot was founded in 2009 by concerned business professionals, educators and community volunteers who saw numerous well-meaning college advisement and “access” programs failing at-risk students. In Texas, 9 out of 10 of these students who get into college drop out. ScholarShot has developed a proven model of academic navigation, personal guidance and financial support that reverses this outcome with 90% of our Scholars succeeding in earning life-changing vocational, associate or undergraduate degrees. Leveraging the success of the ScholarShot model, our Degree Dallas Campaign is on track to produce 500 first generation college degrees from Dallas County. Find out more on the organization’s website.


Education Opens Doors and its student manual Roadmap to Success evolved from the passion and efforts of several Teach for America alumni and education pioneers, led by the vision of a young entrepreneur with a heart for students. Today, Education Opens Doors is implementing the Roadmap to Success Program in 175 classrooms across the Dallas area. Teachers are utilizing the student handbook to give middle and high school students a chance at success – a guide to help them be intentional about where they want to go next – strategically navigating their way to college. Find out more on the organization’s website. publishes every week.
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