The History of Janey Scholars

Janey Scholars was conceived of in 1999 by Dan Rothenberg and it was one of his proudest accomplishments. Dan believed that with a little financial help and encouragement students were capable of extraordinary success. Until his passing in 2013 Dan took great joy in meeting each and every student, hearing their stories over lunch and sharing with them some of his own challenges and adventures.

Dan’s approach to philanthropy was not transactional – it was personal. He admired the Janey Scholars. and saw in them the qualities that he admired most in other people: hard work, passion, grit, optimism and grace. He was proud to know each student, and to be a small part of their lives and success.

In 2021, The Ebling Family Foundation joined Janey Scholars, and with a shared commitment to students, will nurture and grow the work into the future.

Since 1999, Janey Scholars has awarded over $5.5 million to help 300 students excel in college, graduate career-ready, and prepared to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty

The Beliefs That Guide Our Work

Students have tremendous assets and potential -- Each student has unique strengths, the ability to overcome obstacles, and the potential to discover and achieve their life-long goals.

Relationships are the heart of our work -- Authentic relationships with caring adults and like-minded peers support learning and personal growth. We believe when young adults are part of a caring community they will step out of their comfort zones, persist through obstacles and dream big.

Well-being is as important as academics -- We believe in prioritizing self-care and mental health. We understand the stressors of being poor at elite universities, and help our students gain awareness and skills that lead to a healthy and joyful college experience and future.

Career development is a part of college success -- Expansive thinking, development of concrete and diverse skills, opportunities to explore career fields and access to a strong professional network pave the way to full-filling and financially rewarding careers.

Summer is a time to learn and grow -- Summer is a valuable time for students to gain experience, learn new skills, make meaningful professional connections, explore career possibilities and discover the world and their place in it.

College should lead to financial security and independence -- Financial literary and planning start early and we help our students gain the knowledge, skills, and habits to secure their future financial well-being.

Taking risks is part of learning -- We encourage our students to go beyond their comfort zones and embrace challenges. We help students build resilience, while finding their passions and strengths.

Giving back is part of success -- We believe it is important for students to use their knowledge, experiences and insights to help others in their lives and their community.

Desire to do better -- We continuously strive to do the best for our students. Students generously share their challenges and triumphs to help us continually reflect, adapt and improve our work.

Important Documents

2020-2021 Request Form

Janey Scholars Handbook 2020-2021


If you have any questions about the Janey Scholars Program, please contact Deborah Denhart at ddenhart.crmgmt [at]