SVHEF Scholarship Awards for Fall 2023 


The Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation provides scholarship opportunities for those living in Halifax County and the surrounding communities.  Since 2001, the Foundation Board of Directors continue to make it their priority to provide educational opportunities to support economic growth for vitality in rural Virginia.  This Fall the Foundation Scholarship Committee awarded a total of $26,293.67 assisting students enrolled in nearby community colleges and workforce training programs offered through the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center(SVHEC).  The SVHEC and Foundation are conveniently located in downtown South Boston sharing the property with The Prizery and the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce.    

“The higher education center is a golden opportunity for our region, making it possible for those to continue post-secondary education while working a full-time job,” said Liza Fulton, SVHEF Scholarships and Outreach Coordinator.  

It is easy to apply for a scholarship.  The simple one page application asks for your contact information, college, and course of study.  Plus students must submit a personal essay and include two letters of reference.    

“The scholarship process is not too painful,” said Fulton, adding applications are now being submitted for Spring 2024.  The deadline for spring applications is December 1st.   

The Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation offers scholarships to SVHEC’s college partners: Danville Community College, Southside Virginia Community College, and Old Dominion University online.  Plus the higher education center offers Workforce Training Certification and scholarships are available for Information Technology, HVAC, and Welding classes.  There is a variety of degrees and workforce training available here in Halifax County.  

“With the giving season approaching, please remember the value of an education.  The vitality of Southern Virginia relies on the growth of its people. The resources to live, learn, work, and play are HERE…. Let’s keep it that way,” said SVHEF Board Chair Monica Edmonds.

Contributions may be submitted to support the Foundation to help maintain its daily functions.  Your support may also be given directly to a specific Scholarship Fund.

The SVHEF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization which relies on support from local industries, businesses and community members.  Every donation is tax-deductible.  Contributions may be submitted online, and click the “giving” tab or send a check to SVHEF 180 Factory Street, South Boston VA 24592.  Please contact Liza Fulton SVHEF Scholarships and Outreach if you have any questions via email or give her a call at 434-572-5448.

Check out this list of the Fall 2023 College Scholarship Recipients.  Students are listed by the school they are attending.  Please look forward to next week’s article recognizing the Workforce Scholarship recipients.  

Southside Virginia Community College Recipients:

Samantha Anderson received the Virginia Penick Estate Scholarship and Dr. W. Joseph Ferguson Memorial Scholarship.  Samantha Anderson is going to college to become an elementary school teacher.  She is working locally at Busy Bean and Adams Total Fitness.

Iniyah Atkins was awarded the Wilson Memorial Scholarship to assist her career goals of Agriculture Business.  Included in Miss Atkins’ essay she shared that one day she will “create a truly sustainable farm that runs on its own without the need for outside sources.”

Christopher Carmichael is a nursing student who received the Dr. W. Joseph Ferguson Memorial Scholarship and the Hope-Tone Scholarship.  Carmichael, a previous scholarship recipient, praised the opportunities he would not have been able to pursue without the financial assistance. By receiving the scholarship, “I was able to participate in research projects, internships, and extracurricular activities that helped me to develop new skills and gain valuable experience,” said Carmichael.

Another nursing student is Michael Coleman-Reaves who was awarded the Dr. Bill Bell Medical Education Scholarship.  Coleman-Reaves is passionate about helping patients be calm and comfortable as much as possible during their visits at the hospital and plans to become an anesthesiologist. “Nursing will help pave the way for me to be an encouragement to those who feel helpless,” stated Coleman-Reaves in his essay.

Zachary Jackson is an Information Technology student earning his degree in Cyber Security.  Jackson was the recipient of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation Scholarship.  Jackson shared that he wants, “to be able to help everyone with any cyber threats they may come across.”

Leah Day Newton is a nursing student who was ineligible for financial aid and would not have been able to afford college without the assistance of a scholarship.  Newton was awarded the Dr. W. Joseph Memorial Scholarship and the Hope-Tone Scholarship.  Newton shared her deep appreciation for the award, “This scholarship has taken a great amount of stress off me, by not working as much, I have more time to focus on my classes.”

Kaitlyn Reaves is a General Studies student with interest in Radiology.  Reaves received the Wilson Memorial Scholarship and plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps into the medical field.  During her time shadowing a radiology technician, Reaves described the experience captivating while learning the different responsibilities and various situations that may arise.

Losing her financial aid during a long undecided educational highway, Alicia Stith never gave up.  She’s back with determination and focus on an Information Technology career like Data Analyst.  Stith is also a recipient of the Wilson Memorial Scholarship.

Ashley Tingen is a nursing student who graduated from Bluestone High School class of 2022 with an advanced diploma that included her CNA Certification.  Tingen wants to be more than a Certified Nurse Assistant, “I want to become a nurse and give back to my community by helping others.” After earning her Registered Nurse Degree, Tingen plans to continue her education with a Bachelors in Nursing to work with the pediatrics or intensive care units at the hospital.  Tingen is the recipient of the Ann Chesley Edmunds Scholarship.

Business Management is the focus for Connor Watts who was awarded the Leggett Scholarship.  Working on a farm, “I began to see the enjoyment of growing, harvesting, and getting it [the crops] into the consumers hands,” said Watts -adding this is why he is pursuing agriculture-business.

Naomi West, recipient of the Wilson Memorial Scholarship to assist with earning her Associate’s Degree in education.  West described her plan is to help educate, “the next generation of people in a low income community where teachers are desperately needed.”

Blake Wilkerson is focusing on engineering while obtaining his Associate’s Degree in general studies.  “I am invigorated by the challenge of identifying problems, dissecting them, and devising practical solutions,” said Wilkerson who recently stopped in the crossroads realizing dance was not his only passion.  Wilkerson is the recipient of the Old Dominion Electric Cooperative Scholarship. 

Attending Danville Community College is engineering student Ashley Pedro.  She is a child of immigrant parents with the determination to be the first college graduate in her family.  Pedro shared, “I found a passion for mathematics and the calculations it took to make a table or the new chicken coops to work; I enjoy the idea of being able to make things and the process of it all.”  Pedro was the recipient of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Foundation Scholarship.

Old Dominion University provides online degree programs via the SVHEC.  Three students were awarded scholarships to earn either a Bachelor’s of Science or a Master’s Degree.

Ashley Clay is working toward her B.S. degree in Elementary Education.  Clay was the recipient of the Mark T. Trickey Memorial Scholarship by Comfort Systems USA MidAtlantic.  Clay shared, “I want to be able to make a difference in the lives of students who face extra learning challenges.  Not only did I learn to help disadvantaged students, but I want to unlock the potential in other students,” said Clay.

Jacob Cook is currently an IT Academy Instructor at SVHEC.  Cook is pursuing his M.S. in Computer Science and was a recipient of the Ann Chesley Edmunds Scholarship.  Cook has built a custom Student Information System (SIS) to facilitate SVHEC staff process of managing data versus multiple spreadsheets in every department.  His program has been in operation for over a year and is utilized daily.  Cook is eager to “teach higher-level programming classes for SVCC that will transfer to a four-year university.  This means I could help SVCC offer more programming classes onsite at SVHEC rather than the more prominent online format,” said Cook.

Zachary Perkins earned his Associate’s Degree at SVCC through enrollment at the higher education center.  Over the past year, he maintained his focus on the goal of receiving his B.S. in Computer Science. Perkins has enjoyed computers and information technology since his first keyboarding class at Halifax Middle School.  For the past three years, Perkins has worked part-time landscaping while taking classes. “My journey in achieving and earning my associate’s degree was enhanced because of this scholarship, and it has led me on this new journey,” said Perkins sharing his appreciation for the Dr. W. Joseph Ferguson Memorial Scholarship.