SVHEF 2017 scholarship award recipientsThe Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation (Foundation) and its sponsors awarded 10 scholarships on August 28 to students at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC). The awards ceremony was held in the Foundation’s suite at the SVHEC in South Boston. Following the ceremony, the recipients and their families were honored with a reception.

“Awarding scholarships to deserving students directly supports the mission of the Foundation,” said Linda Owen, Scholarship Committee Chair. The Foundation exists to empower individuals to reach their full potential. The Foundation pursues this vision through the awareness of and accessibility to affordable education. Our objective is to enhance the educational opportunities available to the citizens of Southern Virginia.

This year marks the 13th consecutive year in which the Foundation has awarded scholarships to outstanding students. “It is a pleasure for the Foundation to award the various scholarships to these very deserving individuals. We are elated to be able to support so many outstanding students as they further their education and pursue their dreams,” said Owen.

Working with Owen on the scholarship committee are Foundation Board members Kathy Bane, Monica Edmonds, Steve Mize, and Dennis Witt, President and Chairman of the Board.

Rotary/Ancheta Scholarships

The Rotary Club of South Boston/Ancheta Scholarships are offered to Halifax County residents who are studying in the medical field. The late Dr. Ancheta created these scholarships in conjunction with the South Boston Rotary Club as a means to help ensure the supply of healthcare workers for many years to come. The 2017 recipients are Kimberly N. Coleman, Lindsey D. Slagle and Elyse Danielle Ward:

Kimberly N. Coleman – has been a Certified Nursing Assistant for 6 years and you can truly tell that she loves what she does. She now knows that her goal is to become an RN. She is currently enrolled in the Licensed Practical Nurse program, will graduate in December, and will work for a few years before returning for the RN certification.

Lindsey D. Slagle – is a recent graduate of Halifax County High School. She looks forward to being a Physical Therapy Assistant, has already had an internship with Cox Rehab Center, and joined the local Community Emergency Response Team. Children with special needs and the elderly touch her heart. One of her teachers said that she possesses a discipline and work ethic that not many students have.

Elyse Danielle Ward – is in her second year of the nursing program and is excelling; she is a hard worker, a diligent student and it is her aim to be an exemplary caregiver. After she receives her Associate’s degree, Elyse hopes to earn her RN and licensure and ultimately her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. During her clinical studies, she has learned to trust her instincts as a patient advocate and to work as part of a team. She has learned that she is good at nursing!

Hope Scholarship

The Hope Scholarship was established in 2003 as a tribute to Chris Lumsden’s mother Avelta Hope Arthur Lumsden.

Lindsey R. Plemons – is a recent graduate of George Washington High School, and is enrolled with the community colleges; she plans to apply for the Danville Regional Medical Center Radiology program. Lindsey has been fascinated by x-rays and the health care field since seventh grade and looks forward to a career as a radiology technician.

ODEC Scholarships

Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) is a truly responsible member of the community and awards scholarships each year. The ODEC Scholarships were awarded to:

Leslie Anne Comer – is seeking to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and hopes to ultimately become a Certified Public Accountant or Certified Management Accountant. She is currently working full time as a bookkeeper while raising her 8-year-old child and going to school. Leslie wants to give her daughter a life of encouragement and to prove that success is possible. She believes that “school is the future” for a better life.

Mark A. Gravitt – has completed the first Mechatronics Program and will start the second this fall. Mark writes that he enjoyed the first level even though he found it hard at times; he really believes that it is a career maker. The added benefit is that his children now know that if you work hard and stay dedicated you can accomplish anything. He looks forward to the better job that this training will afford him.

James Wayne Rutherford – is the first in his family to attend college and has a BSBA concentrating in Accounting and he is now seeking to finish his IST (CISCO) Networking degree. As an employee of Atos IT Solutions, the IT Academy has transformed his career. One of his instructors wrote that “Mr. Rutherford’s basic academic standards are genuinely above and beyond what is expected of the average college student.”

Alicia D. White – is the first in her family to attend college and is now pursuing the Siemens Mechatronics certifications at the SVHEC so that she can become a product design engineer for mechatronic systems, a robotics engineer and a STEM educator. After working abroad for several years, Alicia has returned to Southern Virginia and is working part-time at the SVHEC to focus on building a global training program for the SVHEC.

Penick Scholarship

The Penick Scholarship Fund was created by the Penick family to honor their mother, an educator extraordinaire. The 2017 recipient is:

Joshua C. Conner – is a recent graduate of Halifax County High School and is pursuing a liberal arts degree to become a teacher. His hope is to educate our youth; there is always a need for caring qualified educators. He believes this is a wonderful way to give back to his community. Educators help the next generation become smarter, invent new things and reveal new discoveries. Joshua is a determined learner who is passionate about increasing his knowledge.

Ann Chesley Edmunds Scholarship

The Ann Chesley Edmunds Scholarship Fund was created by the Edmunds family to honor their mother. It is awarded to residents of Mecklenburg County. The 2017 recipient is:

Erin Plemons – Is a resident of Mecklenburg County and a recent graduate of George Washington High School where she received an advanced degree. Throughout high school, she took advanced core classes thus setting herself apart from her peers. Erin was treasurer of the student council and served on the school’s yearbook staff in addition to participating in competition dance. She has an interest in technology and plans to pursue a career in information technology.

This is the first year in which scholarships will be awarded twice. In response to the changing needs of the SVHEC’s students and at the request of the SVHEC, the Foundation will award a second round of scholarships in early 2018. The Foundation scholarships are available for degree and certificate programs that are held at or through the SVHEC. Please watch for the opening of the scholarship application window around November 1, 2017. Applications will be available at the Foundation’s website and offices, and at the SVHEC.


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