In a presentation held at the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, the Business Education Partnership Foundation (BEP) received a gift of $100,000 from Emil and Lilly Hassan to formally establish the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund, which will provide funding for equipment for special classroom projects.
Emil Hassan served as chairman of the board of the Business Education Partnership from its founding in 1988 until announcing his retirement at the organization’s 30th anniversary celebration in September.
"Lilly and I, along with our family, feel very strongly about the importance of a good education in a community. I have always felt and continue to believe that for a community to have good quality of life, it must have two main ingredients: a good education and good healthcare. There is no better way for us to contribute to our community than through this grant that we are making," Hassan said.
The fund will be especially helpful for teachers of science, technology, engineering, and math, as STEM equipment and supplies can be prohibitively expensive.
The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers Fund will enable educators to expand the scope of existing projects as well as to undertake projects that had previously been unrealistic due to lack of funding. The Hassans see the new fund as both an investment in students’ futures and as an opportunity to encourage exceptional teachers.
"Lilly and I have always believed, and continue to feel, that giving back to the community that has been good to us and our family is a must. We hope that this grant will serve a noble cause of helping teachers who aspire to do more than what their duties require by awarding their grant requests in order to fund needed materials or equipment to facilitate projects and special programs to expand students’ knowledge and better prepare them for the business world," Hassan said.
Joined at the presentation by longtime BEP treasurer Jimmy Jobe, executive director Amelia Bozeman called the occasion "an exciting time for our teachers, who will have more resources than ever before to make their projects come to life" and announced the formation of a special committee to review applications.
BEP board member Elias "Yaz" Hassan said, "My brother Ramsey and I, both products of the city and county schools, have been proudly watching what the BEP has accomplished the last 30 years. It’s very exciting to kick off this new project with funding from our parents, and we look forward to participating in the reviewing and judging of grant requests submitted this spring. It will be interesting to see what ingenious ways the teachers will find to use these funds to their greatest potential!"
Teachers working within the Murfreesboro City Schools and the Rutherford County Schools will be eligible to apply for funds beginning Jan. 14, 2019.
Applications for the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund will be accepted once per semester, and submission periods will run concurrently with those of the BEP Nissan Teacher Minigrant Awards program, which offers grants for special hands-on learning projects in amounts of up to $500 twice annually.
BEP will release guidelines and additional proposal information on the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund in January.
Photo: Jimmy Jobe (treasurer), Julie Corcoran (board chair), Lilly and Emil Hassan, Amelia Bozeman, Yaz Hassan