Project Launch Grant Renewed

PL Student at CRISIS
Thursday, February 16, 2017

For Immediate Release

Katy Munger
(919) 668-9153


DURHAM, NC—Thanks to a major grant of $200,000 by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) will be able to continue its groundbreaking Project Launch program for a third consecutive cycle. Project Launch allows high-ability, low-income students to enroll in TIP’s renowned academic programming for gifted students at no cost to their families and also evaluates the impact of various academic interventions on their educational success. Project Launch scholars are given access to a variety of special educational opportunities, including TIP’s CRISIS summer program for fifth and sixth graders, mentored online courses, above-grade level testing to better evaluate each student’s academic strengths, a book club, and special email notifications to parents that provide advice on how to support their children’s efforts in school. Over the past four years, more than 900 elementary students have participated in Project Launch. Many of them have remained engaged with TIP through their middle and early high school years. An estimated 400 more low-income students will now be able to directly benefit from the Project Launch program, thanks to this new grant.

Greater Impact

Project Launch does more than enrich the lives of individual students. It is also contributing to an empirical understanding of how academic support services can influence a low-income gifted student’s academic success. The program evaluates the relative and cumulative impacts of various academic interventions and tracks whether combinations of services can provide greater benefits to students, compared to individual interventions alone.

“Project Launch is critical to TIP’s outreach efforts to academically talented low-income scholars,” Duke TIP Executive Director Shawna Young said. “We very much appreciate this grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and are proud to be working with an organization so devoted to serving high ability, low-income scholars. We hope the data we are gathering through Project Launch will eventually lead to more effective support services for low-income students throughout the entire U.S. school system.”

“Too often, low-income parents can’t afford to send their high-achieving children to rigorous academic programs outside of school,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “Our grants make it possible for many extraordinary students to participate in such programs, furthering their education and better preparing them for college.”


Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has provided over $152 million in scholarships to nearly 2,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also awarded over $90 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. 




About Duke TIP: The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically talented youth. As a global leader in gifted education, Duke TIP works with students, families, and educators to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and support gifted youth in reaching their highest potential. More than 2.8 million students have benefited from TIP programs and resources since 1980. Duke TIP’s talent identification, academic, and research programs now serve as worldwide models for the education of gifted students.


For more information about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, please visit For more information about Duke TIP, please visit