#3 of 30in30: Scholarships for students who dream of attaining higher education



Tonya Hamrick, LFCC Fellow

Tonya Hamrick has been dreaming of becoming a nurse ever since she took care of her blind, diabetic grandmother when she was 10 years old.

But with two disabled children with expensive medical bills, finishing her college education was something she couldn’t do without financial assistance.

What is it?

Tonya is one of 10 students selected last fall for the prestigious Valley Proteins Fellowship program, a unique leadership development opportunity and scholarship for students attending Virginia’s Community Colleges.

The scholarship is helping Tonya finish her nursing degree at Lord Fairfax so that she can transfer to a four year school and become a Nurse Practitioner.

30-ways-in-30-days-logoWho is it helping?

Tonya’s story is played out thousands of times across Virginia, for students seeking a chance to get their education.  The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, with a mission to provide access to education for all Virginians, has provided more than $700,000 in scholarships since 2006.

Where is it happening?

Foundations at each of Virginia’s 23 Community Colleges are doing the same and more.

A number of special scholarship programs highlight those efforts, such as the Wythe-Bland Scholarship Program – which guarantees tuition to two years at Wytheville Community College for all high school graduates in Wythe and Bland counties – and the Virginia Western Community College College Access program, which makes a two-year degree available tuition-free to 2012 graduates of Patrick Henry and William Fleming High Schools in Roanoke City, Salem High School in Salem City, and Franklin County High School in Franklin County.

What is the future?

The foundations that support Virginia’s Community Colleges are elevating Virginia – student by successful student.

Editor’s Note: 30 Ways in 30 Days Virginia’s Community Colleges are Elevating Virginia is a month-long blog series dedicated to exploring some of the many creative and inspiring ways our colleges are helping people find and create opportunity. The series is part of the VCCS tribute to National Community College Month. To read more of the series just click on the “30 ways in 30 days” category.

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