LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) - Simmons College and Heaven Hill both have a long and rich history in the Derby City, and now the two organizations are partnering to help local students do the same.

The corporation is donating $30,000 to the school. Community and civic leaders made the announcement on campus Tuesday morning.

Since 1879, Simmons College of Kentucky has been a staple in the Louisville community

"We are proud of our heritage, but we are also proud of our hope,” Simmons College of Kentucky President Dr. Kevin Cosby said.

That hope is something the school strives to give its students no matter the obstacles.

"I'm often asked why is there a need for HBCUs. The reason there's a need for an HBCU is because of the great gap between college enrollment and college graduation between blacks and other residents,” Cosby said.

Leaders said they're working diligently every day to close that gap, collaborating with the community to ensure success for each and every student.

"The whole city rises together when we work together like this,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said.

Tuesday's gift from Heaven Hill Brands is no exception.

"These two institutions, Simmons and Heaven Hill, might have different missions, but they come together here with what they have in common and that is that they're dedicated to the success of people here in Louisville,” Fischer said.

The $30,000 partnership will fund a new food service program, two student scholarships, and support the West Louisville Forum.

"Education today is the foundation for obtaining the skills necessary for having a successful life in today's world,” Heaven Hill Brands President Max Shapira said.

The two students receiving the scholarship said they couldn't be more grateful for the gift.

"I'm really honored to receive this and just truly blessed,” junior Martious White said.

"I want to use this money for my books of course because I've been coming out of pocket for books, so I'm really excited for it,” freshman Terri Turner said.
Both students have very bright futures ahead of them. Martious is studying sociology and plans to open his own psychology clinic here in Louisville after graduation. Terri is majoring in communications and wants to be a news reporter or work for ESPN one day.