1818 Versailles Road
Lexington KY 40504
Contact Information
Address 1818 Versailles Road
Lexington, KY 40504
Phone (859) 252-8648
Fax 859 252-8030
Contact Name Elisabeth Jensen
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 2002
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Background Statement
Since its inception in 2002 the Race for Education has awarded nearly $6,000,000 in college scholarships and educational programs. The Race for Education's objective goes beyond getting students through college financially. Our mission is to provide mentoring, tutoring and partnership also with financial support, with the ultimate goal of making sure students are successful in life and become an asset to their communities. Although the majority of the students involved in The Race for Education program come from high risk and extreme need backgrounds, the graduation rate is over 70% while the national average is about 50%.  Approximately 90% of RFE students make the dean's list.
Impact Statement

In 2015, The Race For Education offered $330,00 in college scholarships. Approximately 50 students graduated from college with the support of our awards. Our 2016 scholarship process has begun and will continue to help students with college tuition.

The Race For Education's Starting Gate afterschool literacy program is currently offered in Fayette County, Kentucky at Crawford Middle, Paris and Leestown Middle. 

The Race For Education continues to focus on service and provide free assistance with FAFSA preparation and college applications to the Hispanic community.

The Starting Gate will continue to expand to additional schools, with future hopes of offering Theatrix, a drama program that incorporates literacy and language arts skills while developing self confidence and exposure to the arts.
Needs Statement
For the 2016 - 2017 school year, the organization will be expanding the afterschool outreach program to additional grades.  Needs for this program will be:
1. Funding for bus transportation home at the conclusion of programming.
2. Qualified teachers for program staffing.
3. Teaching Interns to provide classroom assistance from area colleges.
4. Funding for books and other literacy materials.
5. Funding for field trips.
CEO/Executive Director Statement
The Race For Education provides educational opportunities for young people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to go to college. The average household income our students is only $27,000.  Having the opportunity to get to know these young people and watching them overcome significant hardship and disadvantage to graduate from college and become a responsible member of our community is extremely rewarding.  It is a dream come true for most of these kids and their families. Education is empowering and it gives young people a choice.
Board Chair Statement

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Education / Scholarships & Student Financial Aid
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development /
Geographic Areas Served
The Race for Education scholarship programs serve students nationwide.  The Starting Gate afterschool programs serve central Kentucky middle school students.
Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.
Goal 1:  To improve the academic achievement of the students that we serve in Central KY.
Needs were determined by:K-PREP scores
                                            KY Department of Education Report Cards
                                             Measures of Academic Progress scores
Key Activities: Literacy Activities
                          Homework Help
                          College and Career Readiness Activities 
Outcomes for Goal 1: Students will be reading on grade level.
                                    Test scores will improve 
Goal 2: To increase educational enrichment opportunities of participating students to address non-cognitive areas, including behavior, attendance and goal setting for College and Career Readiness.
Needs were determined by: Data from activity surveys
Key Activities: Arts and Humanities Activities
                         College and Career Readiness Activities
Outcomes for Goal 2:  Improvement in attendance
                                     Increase in the usage of the Individual Learning                                        Plan for the purposes of College and Career                                              Readiness goal setting
StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals? The Starting Gate afterschool literacy program is hands on and uses disguised learning techniques to engage and to encourage our students would do not learn in a traditional manner. Learning in out of school time is more flexible than during the regular school day.  Each Starting Gate classroom is staffed with a certified teacher and at least three teaching interns, which enables us to keep our student to teacher ratio low.  Our students have one on one tutoring as needed and the extra time to complete their homework for the evening.  Literacy activities are large and small group based and offered on an individual basis.  Starting Gate data showed that 85% of  our students improved their Methods of Academic Progress (MAP) test scores by the end of the year and that 45% of our students were reading on grade level.
CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
Our partnership with the Fayette County Public Schools make the Starting Gate program possible.  The school partnerships supply space, students with educational needs and data. The partnerships we have with the University of Kentucky, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Out of School Alliance are key to our success.  The University of Kentucky Education Department helps recruit teaching interns for the Starting Gate program and the Kentucky Education Association recruits interns and certified teaching staff, both have representatives on our Starting Gate advisory board.  An additional partnerships that are vital to our success are the Kentucky Education Association, Kentucky Out of School Alliance and God's Pantry.  Starting Gate uses the Kentucky Out of School Alliance's lending library and attends professional development opportunities through their office.  They too have representation on our advisory council.  
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact? We gather K-PREP, report card and MAP score data to evaluate how our students are progressing.  K-PREP test are taken at the end of the school year in May and the scores are released in the fall.  The Methods of Academic Progress (MAP) math and reading test is given three times a year (fall, winter and spring) and there are benchmarks each time that students need to meet to be considered on grade level.  Report card grades are also tracked in all core subjects.  Starting Gate teachers access Infinite Campus with our students to check and see if there is missing homework that needs to be made up.  The teaching staff also works with our students to develop and improve their non-cognitive skills.  We track each student's attendance and behavior and at the end of the year each student is surveyed about the program.  Additional surveys are given each semester to our teaching interns.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far? Last year we saw an 85% improvement on the Methods of Academic Progress (MAP) scores and 45% of our students finished the year reading on grade level.  We would like to see 100% improvement on the MAP scores and 100% of our students reading on grade level.  There are many obstacles that still exist.  Many of our students come from English Language Learner (ELL) homes and they only hear English spoken when they are in school.  Another obstacle is known as the "summer slide", this is when a student's mind is idle during the summer months.  According to the authors of a report from the National Summer Learning Association: "A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year". In an effort to combat both of these obstacles, we make several book distributions throughout the year and then again right before summer break.  Additional obstacles include: lack of family support, hunger, stress and homelessness.
Board Chair
Board Chair Bryan Pettigrew
Company Affiliation Breeders' Cup
Term Jan 2016 to Jan 2017
Board Members
Kasey Casner AndersonDonorVoting
Jack BrothersAdena Springs FarmVoting
Dr. Stewart BrownHagyard Equine Medical InstituteVoting
Bill CasnerBoard MemberVoting
Kerry CauthenFour Star SalesVoting
Shannon CobbRed MileVoting
Robert FlemingStoll, Keenon & Ogden
Melissa HagansRetired, Fayette County SchoolsVoting
Elisabeth JensenThe Race For EducationVoting
Georgia LockridgeSecretaryVoting
Kevin O'KeeffeMeringer, Zois & QuiggVoting
Bryan PettigrewBreeders' Cup LtdVoting
Dan PrideDarley at Jonabell FarmVoting
Brandy StoeckingerBreeder's Cup
Chris YoungBoard MemberVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 14
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 9
Female 6
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 73%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 25%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 3
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Additional Board Members and Affiliations
Chad AullLexington Director of KDP
Rosalind BryantKentucky Education Association
Lori DavisKentucky State University
Carolyn HudmanKY Out of School Alliance
Wayne LewisUniversity of KY
Mac McCauleyAdaptations
Linda RobinsonManhattan Strategy
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Elisabeth Anne Jensen
Term Start June 2002
Email jensen@raceforeducation.org
President and Executive Director Elisabeth Jensen established The Race for Education with the support of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Casner. Attended Aiglon College in Villars, Switzerland, and F.I.T. City University of New York, Ms. Jensen has served in an executive management capacity for several Fortune 500 companies, including most recently The Walt Disney Company.
Full Time Staff 4
Part Time Staff 8
Volunteers 15
Contractors 0
Retention Rate 100%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
The purpose of Starting Gate is to engage middle school youth in order to improve literacy and language arts skills, and post-secondary preparation, while also imparting the value of continued education via college or vocational school. 
 Types of services offered:
  • Literacy development
  • Tutoring – homework assistance
  • Assistance and support with Kentucky State required Individual Learning Plans (ILP)
  • Cultural field trips
  • Civic engagement
  • Academic Summer Camps
Budget 80000 / school
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served At-Risk Populations, Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short Term Success

Immediate benefits of the outreach program include providing an environment where young people are given supervision and direction as soon as they enroll, reducing the chances of undesirable behaviors that can often result from idle time. These students are immediately exposed to role models who provide structure, the opportunity for cultural enrichment, and academic assistance.  The benefit of immediate supervision and direction take root and grow into strong mentoring relationships as the program progresses.

Program Long term Success

Currently, young people in the communities we serve do not consider attending college as an option in their life.  The majority of their family members have not even completed high school and the public school systems they attend do little to prepare them for college.  By providing a weekly study hall, guest speakers and field trips, the students will develop a network of academic and social support. This program will help these young people establish relationships with role models during their middle school years (7 and 8th grade) that can inspire and prepare them to attend college, optimizing their chances for success.

Program Success Monitored By
Short term success will be monitored by attendance and participants grades which must be submitted each semester.
Long term success will be determined by the the number of students that graduate from high school and attend a college or university.  
Description Teaching internships are offered to participating area colleges/universities for students pursuing degrees in Education. The Starting Gate Program Coordinator works with individual college/university internship program coordinators to determine the structure of our internships. After successful completion of this internship, participating college students receive a $1,000 scholarship from The Race For Education to be used for tuition. A scholarship can be earned for each semester an intern works. If an intern returns for a second semester, they are eligible to apply for the RFE’s Assets for Independence Program, which could qualify them for an extra $4,000 to be used for tuition costs. All interns work with a bilingual (Spanish), certified teacher with 12 years of classroom experience. Interns will be asked to teach large group lessons, as well as small group break-outs, assist with homework, and accompany the group on field trips once per month.

To complete the internship and receive a scholarship, participating college students are required to:

  • Attend a volunteer training orientation at The Race For Education.
  • Attend lesson planning sessions once per month with the Program Coordinator.
  • Work with middle students two days per week and one Saturday per month for at least one semester.
  • Assist middle school students with homework, school projects, computer use, etc.
  • Submit to a background check and sign a confidentiality agreement.
  • Be in good academic standing with their college/university.
  • Submit to an exit interview at the end of the semester.

All interested applicants should send a cover letter and resume to Leslie Spears, Starting Gate Executive Director at lspears@raceforeducation.org

Program Comments
CEO Comments

Closing the gap in achievement that separates economically disadvantaged students and students of color from less disadvantaged students has been the focus of discussion, research and controversy for nearly 40 years. While the gap narrowed considerably through the late 1980s, particularly between blacks and whites, progress since then has been marginal — and below-par achievement of minority and disadvantaged students remains one of the most pressing problems in education.


The Starting Gate has a proven program that is helping close the gap right here in Fayette County schools today. After 4 years, the program has a record of improving MAP scores in every classroom, in every school where the program is offered. The success of our program has gained a lot of attention in the community and we continually receive requests from additional schools that would like to have the Starting Gate. At this time we provide the program free of charge to the schools and the students. 


At this time our biggest challenge is obtaining consistent funding to allow us to provide high quality, results drives programs to meet the demand of the schools community with underserved populations. The biggest challenges facing our organization are the ever increasing cost of higher education and quality of education the students receive in the high schools in their community.  Many of our students that do go to college spend a year taking remedial courses and have to work part -time to make ends meet.  This makes it nearly to impossible for most students to graduate in four years.  We believe our youth outreach program can provide the necessary support to make sure our students more prepared for college. However, with the rising cost of college, we raise more money every year and are able to help fewer students.  We currently can only assist about 10% of students who apply. We need continued and increased support just to maintain our level service.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Under Development
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy No
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2015
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2015
Projected Revenue $117,551.00
Projected Expenses $158,813.00
Spending Policy Income plus capital appreciation
Detailed Financials
Revenue and ExpensesHelpFinancial data for prior years is entered by foundation staff based on the documents submitted by nonprofit organizations.Foundation staff members enter this information to assure consistency in the presentation of financial data across all organizations.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Revenue$518,574$498,269$567,787
Total Expenses$651,946$718,340$753,209
Revenue Less Expenses($133,372)($220,071)($185,422)
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201520142013
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$40,000$90,000$86,368
Individual Contributions$419,937$379,243$444,504
Investment Income, Net of Losses$21,585$16,515$19,158
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$31,609$7,021$9,037
Revenue In-Kind$0$0$0
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$495,763$621,880$637,081
Administration Expense$156,183$96,460$116,128
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.800.690.75
Program Expense/Total Expenses76%87%85%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$859,711$1,004,429$1,354,076
Current Assets$299,903$422,764$659,783
Long-Term Liabilities$186,718$156,702$288,278
Current Liabilities$13,597$2,000$0
Total Net Assets$659,396$845,727$1,065,798
Form 990s
2015 Form 990
2014 Form 990
2013 Form 990
2012 990 2012
2011 990 2011
2010 990
2009 990
2008 990
2007 990
Audit Documents
2013 Audit
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
State Registration Yes
Address 1818 Versailles Road
Lexington, KY 40504
Primary Phone 859 252-8648
CEO/Executive Director Elisabeth Anne Jensen
Board Chair Bryan Pettigrew
Board Chair Company Affiliation Breeders' Cup