Sallie Mae will host the inaugural Sallie Mae 5K beginning at 8:30 a.m. July 16 at the Wilmington Riverfront at 801 Shipyard Drive to raise money for the Bridging the Dream Scholarship Fund.

Sallie Mae asked 20,000 high school counselors across the country to nominate high school juniors or seniors who exemplify excellence inside and outside the classroom, have overcome obstacles and have a strong desire to attend college in 2016. Sallie Mae selected four recipients and awarded each a $25,000 scholarship.

The Bridging the Dream Scholarship Program also motivated Sallie Mae employees to take the step of organizing and participating in fundraising events to support it. Employees raised more than $50,000, which the company matched to reach the program’s $100,000 goal.

This year, Sallie Mae is expanding the program by encouraging leaders of community organizations and school counselors to nominate students, increasing the number of scholarships awarded and holding the inaugural Sallie Mae 5K. The goal is to raise at least $125,000 through a combination of company support, employee fundraising activities and contributions from the community.

Registration is $35 per person. For information or to register, visit