Foundation Awards Scholarships

Betty Hairston

Area students recently received financial assistance from New College Foundation (NCF) to pursue their college degree at New College Institute (NCI). Twenty-five students enrolled in counseling, educational programs and social work through Bluefield College, James Madison University, Longwood University and Virginia Tech were awarded a total of $44,500. Receiving awards were:

Bluefield College—Counseling

Joel Bunn (Martinsville)

James Madison University—Educational Leadership

Robert Stout (Bassett)

Longwood University—Elementary Education

Caitlyn Cockram (Woolwine) / Betty Hairston (Martinsville) / Casey Elkins (Stuart) / Rachel Hodge (Axton) / Olivia Jones (Martinsville) / Emily Martin (Martinsville) / Morgan Norman (Martinsville) / Ryan Orton (Spencer) / Amanda Pagans (Rocky Mount) / Kalee Smith (Martinsville) / Lindsey Tate (Martinsville) / Austin Turner (Bassett) / Jamie Turner (Martinsville) / Meghan Turner (Martinsville) / and Tara Williams (Fieldale)

Longwood University—Social Work

Sharon Dennis (Martinsville) / Valerie Shough (Stuart), / Whitney Sligh (Martinsville) / Lauren Taylor (Cascade) / and Vassie Woods (Martinsville)

Virginia Tech—Educational Leadership & Policy

Renee Brown (Martinsville) / Judy Cox (Danville) / and Cynthia Tarpley (Martinsville)

The Foundation administers an endowment that consists of 15 scholarships which were established by donors within the community. Scholarship Recipients are selected by the scholarship committee based on academic and work history, community service, personal statements, and recommendations, according to Kevin DeKoninck, Executive Director. The board votes on the amount to be distributed annually.”

“NCF is pleased to play a part in helping meet the educational needs of our community,” said Foundation chair, Simone Redd. “I’m grateful for our donors and my fellow Foundation trustees who work diligently in support of our educational endeavors.”

“It is wonderful to have the New College Foundation providing scholarships to students who choose to advance their educational attainment thru the New College Institute’s academic partners,” said Karen Jackson, Interim Director at NCI. “I am especially excited to see support extended to those participating in the Virginia Tech Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies cohort.”

Upon receiving word of her scholarship award, Betty Hairston said, “Mentally, I imagined I was doing a somersault with a double twist.”

In hearing comments such as this, DeKoninck said, “It brings much joy in helping someone achieve their dream. It is a good reminder for the rest of us, to recognize the blessing of getting to go to school. Perhaps we should change the way we talk about going to school or even for a doctor’s office visit. Instead of saying I have to go to XXX, to I get to go to XXX. Do you hear the difference?”

Some other recipient comments include:

“I want to make it clear how grateful I am for this scholarship and opportunities it will provide me. With this scholarship, I will be able to cut my hours at work and become a more effective learner. This scholarship will also lessen the stress that I continuously have to deal with. This scholarship also encourages me to do my best because I now know there are people in my corner who want to see me succeed in school.”

I am excited about the future ahead of me and am abundantly grateful that the Benjamin R. Gardner Memorial Scholarship has made it possible for me to become an elementary school teacher.

Thanks to the scholarship, I will be able to keep pursing my goals and help people who are battling with mental health issues in the future.

One of the draws of moving to Martinsville was NCI and the Elementary Education program offered by Longwood.”

“Once I have completed my doctoral degree, I am confident that I can make a significant contribution in our community”

“I can assure you that the scholarship money will be well spent as I will work very hard to earn the Bachelor’s Degree in social work to start a new career working with foster children.

The foundation is a 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization established for the purpose of supporting New College Institute and its students.

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