Company Announcements

Kaplan Educational Foundation Honors Michael Sorrell and John Polstein for Opening Doors to Higher Education

Source: Business Wire

President of Paul Quinn College and CEO of Kaplan Test Prep will be honored at Annual Benefit in New York City on Wednesday, June 5

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun. 4, 2019-- The Kaplan Educational Foundation (KEF), which provides leadership development, financial support, and transfer admissions advisement and advocacy to help community college students complete their associate’s degrees and transfer to top U.S. colleges and universities, will present its 2019 Leadership Awards to Michael J. Sorrell, Ed.D., President of Paul Quinn College (Dallas, TX), and John Polstein, Chief Executive Officer of Kaplan Test Prep.

Both individuals will accept the Leadership Award at the Foundation’s Annual Benefit on June 5 in New York City. The Award recognizes their commitment to inclusivity and diversity, as well as their investment in higher education pathways for tomorrow’s leaders.

Dr. Sorrell is the longest-serving President in the history of Paul Quinn College, a leading historically black college and university (HBCU), and has been named one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune magazine. He has been named “President of the Year” for all of higher education by Education Dive, is the only three-time recipient of the HBCU Male President of the Year Award, and Time magazine listed him as one of the “31 People Changing the South.” As a leader of the movement to remake higher education, Dr. Sorrell’s focus on innovation and access for underserved students reflect the Foundation’s mission and commitment to the success of historically underrepresented students of color from low-income backgrounds.

“I am deeply honored by this incredible recognition by the Kaplan Educational Foundation. At Paul Quinn College, we encourage our students to dream beyond what they think is possible and we are grateful to generous organizations like KEF who provide the tools and resources for students to achieve their dreams,” said Dr. Sorrell.

John ‘JP’ Polstein is one of the Foundation’s original donors who helped formulate the Foundation’s mission to open doors to higher education. He has played a primary role in expanding the scope and presence of Kaplan Test Prep, part of global educational services company Kaplan, Inc., and ensuring its ongoing commitment to supporting students’ diverse needs and career paths.

“The impact and success of the Foundation’s work changing the lives and trajectories of non-traditional students would not be possible without ‘JP’ and the support of his team,” said Nancy Lee Sánchez, Executive Director of the Kaplan Educational Foundation. “It gives us great pride to honor the work he and Dr. Sorrell have done opening doors to higher education for students of all kinds.”

“Over a decade ago, when we were dreaming up what the Kaplan Educational Foundation could achieve, we understood diversity and inclusion would always be at the heart of our shared mission,” said Polstein. “I look forward to accepting this award on behalf of all of the Kaplan Test Prep volunteers who have helped KEF scholars change their lives and succeed in their educational and career goals.”

KEF is an independent, non-profit charity that helps underserved students succeed in earning a college degree from the university of their choice. Its work is principally funded by employees of Kaplan, Inc., the largest subsidiary of Graham Holdings Company (NYSE: GHC). The 2019 Annual Benefit, with the theme of “Opening Doors,” celebrates KEF’s 13th year of removing obstacles to higher education for minority, low-income community college students and serves as the organization’s chief fundraising event.

For over a decade, KEF’s Kaplan Leadership Program has been at the vanguard of helping high-achieving community college students from underrepresented communities successfully transfer to top colleges and universities such as Brown, Stanford, Harvard, Syracuse, Emory, Mount Holyoke, New York University, Morehouse, Amherst, Cornell, and others. Through a combination of financial support and comprehensive counseling, tutoring, and support services, Kaplan Scholars attain remarkable outcomes: 92% transfer to a four-year college, and 100% of alumni are employed in their field of study or are currently enrolled in graduate school.

To register for or sponsor the event, visit KEF’s website. For more information or to speak with a KEF spokesperson, please contact Ken Brown at 212-974-6228 or

About the Kaplan Educational Foundation

The Kaplan Educational Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity launched in 2006 with funding from Kaplan, Inc. executives. Its comprehensive program provides financial aid, academic support, leadership skills development, and cultural enrichment for low-income, high-potential, underrepresented community college students seeking to transfer to highly selective four-year schools.

Source: Kaplan Educational Foundation

Ken Brown

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