Payless ShoeSource launches second year of CSR scholarship program benefitting National Urban League’s Project Ready

TOPEKA, KS – In celebration of Black History Month this February, Payless ShoeSource has renewed Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarship program by joining together with its shoppers and the National Urban League (NUL) to raise money to support the future of African American and other minority youth.

First launched last year, Payless will again sell a limited-edition I Believe necklace for only $4 in more than 800 stores nationwide and Payless.com®, while supplies last, and will donate 100 percent of the net profits of necklace sales, with a minimum donation of $35,000, to the Payless Inspiring Possibilities scholarship program established with NUL.  Payless said it expects NUL to distribute scholarships ranging between $350-$5,000 to African American and other minority youth through its signature education program, Project Ready, for the 2010-2011 academic season.

The limited-edition necklaces, available now in stores and on Payless.com, feature a unique silver-toned loop-link “Rolo” chain and three dangling charms including a silver-toned ring inscribed with the inspiring messages “Dream” and “Believe,” offset by a clear crystal-like drop charm and a larger red medallion disc.

“Youth and education are critical to the future of our nation,” said LuAnn Via, president and CEO of Payless.  “We were thrilled with the success of the program last year, and pleased to have given out more than a dozen scholarships to deserving youth through our partner NUL.

“With this year’s exclusive on-trend necklace design and at $4 – a price point accessible to so many — we expect that this year’s program will be equally as strong.  Together, we are truly celebrating Black History Month and benefiting African Americans and other minority youth with strong opportunities for higher education to help them achieve their goals and make their academic dreams come true.”

To be eligible for a 2010-2011 Payless Inspiring Possibilities Scholarship, students must be a registered Project Ready participant, and submit materials by the scholarship deadline of March 31, 2010.  For additional information about the nomination process, please visit nul.org or the local NUL affiliate office.