Shook Scholarship Program for Foster Children Hits Milestone

Shook has reached an important milestone as part of its commitment to serve children and families. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund, founded by Shook, has reached $1 million in scholarships awarded since the program began in 2001. Kansas high school students formerly in the foster care system are able to receive scholarships for university, college and trade schools. In addition to some private donations, the program is primarily funded by state-paid fees for pro bono adoption cases completed by Shook.

“It is a key aspect of our culture at Shook for attorneys to do significant pro bono work and to give back to the community,” said Shook Chair Madeleine McDonough. “Gene Balloun crafted a novel model by converting state-paid fees into scholarships. The Kansas Foster and Adoptive Children Scholarship Fund stands out as a great success.”

Recently retired Shook Partner Gene Balloun, who continues to do pro bono work, started the scholarship program while providing pro bono adoption assistance, together with other Shook attorneys, to families and children. In addition, Balloun and his wife have been foster parents to 29 children, and adopted a son and a daughter who were in foster care.

“We’re honored and humbled to meet this milestone,” said Balloun. KSHB TV and The Kansas City Star reported on the success of the scholarship program.