The Four River's Foundation was formed in 2010 by a 1973 Fulton Independent School graduate and his wife, Robbie and Lisa Rudolph of Rudolph's, Inc., to serve the four school districts of Fulton Independent, Fulton County, Hickman County, and Carlisle County as well as the Fulton County Technology Center. In 2014, the Mayfield/Graves County ATC was added to the foundation and in 2016, Ballard County Schools and Career and Technical Center was voted in by the board to join the foundation.
In 2018, the Fulton County Area Technical Center was expanded and renamed the Four Rivers Career Academy through a Kentucky Department of Education New Skills for Youth grant and partnership wit the 4RF. Using funds from a Work Ready Skills Initiative grant, the technical center was completely upgraded and now offers programs from middle school to adults. Murray State University has a satellite campus, the MSU Thoroughbred Academy, in the FRCA. The FRCA partners with the foundation to provide meeting rooms, office space, and a training center for the 4RF and its partner schools, technical centers and colleges. The FRCA offers programs in IT, Health Sciences, Business Applications, Welding, and Automotive as well as classes in CPR/AED, EMT, Fork Lift, and Flagger Training.
Partnering with two colleges, Murray State University and West Kentucky Community and Technical College, the foundation has worked with the five school districts, the two colleges, the school boards, the technology centers, area businesses and community supporters to guarantee an opportunity for success for all students in the five school districts. The motto of the foundation is "what's best for kids" and directs the foundation's programs and purpose.
We want to create a culture that removes financial and other barriers and creates a 'charter school like' environment where every student can be successful.
Juan Miquel Guzman, shown here with 4RF Founder Robbie Rudolph and Fulton Police Chief Terry Powell.
Officer Guzman works as a police officer for the city of Fulton, KY. While in high school, Juan enrolled in the dual credit EMT program being offered at the high school and provided to students at no cost through the Four Rivers Foundation.
The EMT program was the first program offered through the foundation and Juan and his fellow students in the class worked to become first responders and prepare for the EMT exam. Juan worked with the ambulance service before deciding to enter law enforcement and now protects and serves the community and school system that he graduated from in 2011.
Believing that strong reading skills lead to success, Robbie and Lisa Rudolph created Rudolph’s Readers which gives a free book to every child in grades P-5 in the five elementary schools.
The 4RF Reading Project is designed to work with schools and MSU to implement reading interventions that will lead to students reading on grade level and with proficiency.
The Four Rivers Foundation works with the schools, technical centers, colleges and communities to encourage career fairs for students from 5-12 grades in order to allow students to explore different careers.
The Four Rivers Career Academy partners with the other five technical centers in the Purchase Area region, the five school districts and two colleges to provide technical education for students and adults.
The Four Rivers Foundation provides resources for ACT preparation programs in all five schools annually. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are trained on ACT strategies twice a year. The state test includes the ACT.
The Four Rivers Foundation partners with the five high schools, boards of education, community supporters and both colleges to provide resources for free dual credit classes to all students who want to take them.
Overcoming financial barriers can be a deterrent to going to college. The Four Rivers Scholarship Program provides supplement scholarships to students to assist them in completing their college careers.
Each high school in the five school districts has a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club. The Four Rivers Foundation has partnered with the FCA clubs to support the five schools’ FCA projects.
Providing financial assistance and support for books, career fairs, ACT preparation, dual credit courses, industry test certifications, scholarships, and needed resources for students and programs, the foundation's goal is to ensure that all students in the five schools can successfully complete a college or career path equipped with the necessary skills or credentials to be a viable part of this region's work force.
Works at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Environmental Health and Safety
Going through college life, you find it hard to maintain without having a job, whether you are working on campus or, if you can find and function, a night job. The Four Rivers Scholarship gives you an outlet. It gives you the opportunity to enjoy the experience of hanging out and meeting other people. It gives you the security of knowing you can buy groceries and not having to deal with the “Freshmen Fifteen” and actually eat healthy. Other than the spending aspect, I was able to challenge myself to compete and show my improvement as the semesters went by.
Four Rivers has made a substantial impact in my life. As a first generational graduate, attaining the financial resources to go to college was very limited. However, Four Rivers along with other scholarships made it possible for me. Also, through the utilization of Four Rivers dual credit program throughout high school, I was able to start my freshman year of college as a sophomore. I am so thankful for the ways that Four Rivers Foundation has contributed to my successes in life.
The Four Rivers Foundation helped me get a jumpstart in taking college courses and even being able to take them for FREE. This not only provided me with the challenge that I was looking for while in high school, but it also provided financial relief to my mom because I was in a single parent household. The Four Rivers Foundation benefited me so much that I was able to graduate college in 3.5 years! I am truly grateful for the opportunity that was afforded to me through this foundation.
Works at Miller Family Dental Care as a dental assistant
The Four Rivers Foundation scholarship helped me by cutting down on a lot on my student loans. I’ve been out of high school 5 years and my student loans are very close to being paid off. Dual credit classes helped me in many ways. One way is financially. I saved so much money by taking dual credit classes in high school instead of college. It also helped me get ahead in college. Since I didn’t have to take a lot of pre-requisites I got into my program quicker.
Works at Union City Ford Parts Department as a parts advisor
The Four Rivers Career Academy dual credit program has provided me with areal life insight. I see what I did in high school in my job today. I felt confidant and prepared for my career. My certifications earned in high school helped me obtain this job.
Four Rivers allowed me to take college classes, no expense for me and my family, while still in high school. This opportunity allowed me to enter college with over 24 college credits. They provided financial assistance to help me with all college expenses. This especially helped offset the cost of my books each semester. The support they provided throughout my years spent at Murray State was very beneficial and greatly appreciated.
OR Nurse at Murray Calloway County Hospital
The Four Rivers scholarship helped me pay part of my way through school. I would ensure my grades were good and I had the number of hours needed in to receive it and I was very appreciative of the assistance it provided for me through this time in my life when I needed it most. The dual credit I was able to receive helped me not only financially by getting college credits free at my own high school, but also allow me to get a feel of what college was going to be like. It applied pressure and challenged me so once I took on a college workload of classes I was better prepared!.
Spanish teacher at Fulton Independent School
Thanks to Four Rivers, I was able to feel secure when going to school. I didn't have to worry about how I would get my books or other materials I needed. Four Rivers gave me the comfort in knowing that my community was supporting me and that I would be able to keep learning, thanks to their scholarship.
As a former member of the Falcon Academy and current recipient of the 4 Rivers Scholarship, my education has been tremendously impacted. Falcon Academy helped ensure that I was college ready. Being able to enroll in college classes while in high school exposed me to the intensity that college life offered. I was able to receive help from college professors as well as my high school teachers. The 4 Rivers Scholarship helps with all the essentials I need for college. Both Falcon Academy and the 4 Rivers Scholarship Program have and continue to play a significant role in furthering my education.
Works at David Taylor Automotive
The Four Rivers Foundation allowed me to take dual credit classes in academic and technical courses. I was able to earn nine industry certifications in automotive while attending classes there and completed a work-based learning opportunity at the place where I now work.
English teacher at Hickman County High School
The Falcon Academy Program began my senior year of high school. Through this program, I was able to get a head start on many of my college courses and complete an entire semester of college before leaving high school free of charge. Since then, I went on to attend Murray State University to obtain my teaching degree in English Education. It was because of the giving spirit and support that I received from the community and school faculty alike that I chose to come back to teach at Hickman County myself. My hope is that I am now making the impact on students that teachers and programs like the Falcon Academy made on me.
Jacob graduated Carlisle County High school with 5 dual-credit hours in welding through WKCTC. He attended the Mayfield ATC for two years and completed their Welding program. Jacob currently attends West Kentucky Community & Technical College and is pursuing his Welding Certifications along with his associate's degree. His classes are at the Skills Craft Training Center, and he is loving school. For Jacob, the importance of dual-credit is that he was able to get started early earning hours towards his certifications. Jacob is ahead of the game, and many of the students in his program seek him out for help.
The Four Rivers Foundation has greatly impacted my life and has helped me become the successful person I am today. I graduated from Murray State University with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work in just two and a half years with my freshman year of college paid in full. I was very fortunate to attend Hickman County High School which provided dual credit classes known as Falcon Academy. The scholarship money that I received helped me pay for my class books and other necessities that I needed throughout college. I came from a very low poverty-stricken family and I did not have a positive support system. Therefore, going to college would have been very difficult or almost impossible for me. The Four Rivers Foundation helped make going to college possible for me.
I graduated with 30 hours of college credits. Dual credit allowed me to complete many of my general education classes in an environment that I was comfortable in before I graduated from high school. I was able to learn and adjust to what college classes were like before I even set foot on a college campus. I am thankful for the opportunity to have taken dual credit class, as having them completed helped me during my first year of college. This opportunity wouldn’t have been possible without the funding of Four Rivers Foundation, and for that, I’m extremely grateful.