Community foundation awards over $57,000 in scholarships

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Last month, 200 donors, community leaders, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the 54 students receiving scholarships from the Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) in 2017.


In total, $57,718 was awarded to students attending local colleges and universities such as Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College, as well as awards for students pursuing degrees at Purdue University and Columbia University, among others.

Recipients came from all school districts across the New River Valley, including the counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, and Pulaski, and the City of Radford, as well as from Galax and Grayson County.

The celebration held at Radford University’s Kyle Hall marked the 15th anniversary of the CFNRV’s scholarship program. The CFNRV manages nearly 40 scholarship funds, each with distinct criteria. Beginning with just a single $500 scholarship in 2002, the program has since awarded $473,758 to hundreds of students.

Attendees at the dinner celebration were treated to a keynote address from Dr. Marisela Rosas Hemphill, First Lady of Radford University and a passionate advocate for education, particularly for first generation college students. Twenty-two of the 54 scholarship recipients are first generation students. “My parents wanted nothing more than for their children to go to college,” First Lady Hemphill said. “Scholarships help ease that financial burden. As a first-generation college student, I would not be here telling this story without the assistance of multiple scholarships, which I pursued and received.”

The evening also included talks from Juralee Miranda, a scholarship recipient from 2005-2008 who now works as a school psychologist; Delie Wilkens, a recipient from 2009-2012 who served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and is pursuing a master’s degree in Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; and Aaron Miller, a 2017 recipient who has overcome the challenges of Cerebral Palsy to pursue a career in criminal justice.

CFNRV Executive Director, Jessica Wirgau, concluded the evening with final thoughts for the recipients, “You have 200 people here tonight who believe in you, who are cheering you on, who think you are amazing and intelligent and accomplished. You have 200 people who are grateful to you for helping us know and appreciate this community, and ten years from now, when we celebrate 25 years of our scholarship program, we’ll have twice as many people anxious to hear what amazing things you have done.”

The 2018 scholarship application will open online in October 2017 with a deadline in February 2018. High school and college students, as well as individuals returning to college after time in the workforce, are encouraged to apply for support for their undergraduate studies. For more information, visit www.cfnrv.org/scholarships. Anyone interested in establishing a scholarship fund to support students in the New River Valley is encouraged to contact the CFNRV at cfnrv@cfnrv.org or call 540-381-8999.

2017 CFNRV Scholarship Recipients:

David Alcorta, $1,018 from the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Freedom Scholarship Fund.

Mackenzie Ambrose, $850 from the Woodrow and Elma Turman Scholarship Fund.

Heaven Bailey, $1,000 from the Allen Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Landon Bell, $1,000 from the Marcus Allen Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Erica Boerth, $750 from the Blacksburg High School Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Amber Bradley, $2,000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Madeline Brown, $1,000 from the June Liang Wang Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Taylor Carroll, $2,000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Mallary Cox, $1,000 from the Mary Ann King Peters Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Graciela Cruz, $1,000 from the Ray and Mary Epperly Family Fund.

Jason Dove, $2,000 from the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad Scholarship Fund.

Dana Draughn, $1,000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Abigail Duff, $1,000 from the Doris Huff Elliott Business Excellence Scholarship Fund.

Michael Duncan, $1,000 from the Citizens Scholarship Fund.

Kaela Dunlap, $1,000 from the Diana Love Legacy Instrumental Music Scholarship Fund.

Ethan Edwards, $1,000 from the Chris Dudley Scholarship.

Mary Elliott, $1,000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Hospital/Carilion New River Valley Medical Center Scholarship Fund.

Alexis Epperly, $1,000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Morgan Fisher, $1,000 from the Domermuth Scholarship Fund.

Cynthia Gomez, $1,000 from the Wings Fund.

Katie Griffith, $1,000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Hospital/Carilion New River Valley Medical Center Scholarship Fund.

Kearsten Grubb, $500 from the Evelyn Rutrough Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Kyle Higginbotham, $1,000 from the Kiser Orthodontics Scholarship Fund.

Zachary Ingram, $1,000 from the Ray and Mary Epperly Scholarship Fund.

Danielle Jeffers, $2,000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Elizabeth Kendrick, $1,000 from the Wings Fund.

Tayler Lewis, $1,000 from the Marie Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Christopher Linares, $1,000 from the Terry Helms Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Kaitlyn Linkous, $500 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Julia Lucas, $1,000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Scholarship Fund.

Samantha Marin, $1,000 from the June Liang Wang Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Jovan Marvray, $1,000 from the Allen Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Alexis McDaniel, $1,000 from the Marcus Allen Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Aaron Miller, $2,000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Adelyn Noble, $750 from the Blacksburg High School Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Emily Nolen, $800 from the W.F. Teel Scholarship Fund.

Kate Osborne, $1,000 from the Casey Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Tabitha Poff, $1,000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Harris Salom, $1,250 from the Jim Gwazdauskas Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Megan Shaver, $500 from the Muffo Family Scholarship Fund.

Kiersten Shrader, $1,000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Hospital/Carilion New River Valley Medical Center Scholarship Fund.

Kristina Shrader, $1,000 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Evan Sparks, $1,000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Joseph Stacy, $500 from the T. Scott Eaton Scholarship Fund.

Noah Staples, $1,000 from the Larry Turman Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Brooke Sudweeks, $1,000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Hunter Thomas, $1,000 from the Wings Fund.

Ainsley Toupin, $1,800 from the Plummer Family Scholarship Fund.

Kelsey Trimble, $500 from the A. Phillip Meadows Scholarship Fund.

Justus Underwood, $1,000 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Devon Watty, $1,000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Kailey Weaver, $1,000 from the Eric Sutphin Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Taylor Yoho, $500 from the General Endowment.

Amelia Young, $1,000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Hospital/Carilion New River Valley Medical Center Scholarship Fund.

— Submitted by Jessica Wirgau