Community Foundation logo of a tree, says "The Community Foundation of the New River Valley"

The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) held its 2019 Scholarship Awards Dinner on May 9, 2019, at the German Club Manor in Blacksburg to celebrate the largest year of the program to date, awarding $80,908 in scholarships to 67 students from across the New River Valley. Over 200 guests attended the event, including scholarship recipients and their families, donors, principals, guidance counselors, and foundation volunteers.

Begun in 2002, the aims of the program are to support the educational aspirations of students so that they can achieve their full potential, to nurture a skilled workforce in the region, and to cultivate future community leaders. The program has grown steadily over the past 17 years, awarding almost $621,000 to 619 students from over 40 endowed scholarship funds. Funds are created by individuals, families, and NRV businesses, and are managed by the CFNRV.

The 2019 group of scholarship winners was one of the most diverse to date, with almost a quarter of the cohort comprised of first generation college students. Recipients will attend a wide range of colleges, many within the region and some ranging as far abroad as Rome. Virginia Tech (22 recipients) and Radford (9 recipients) were the most popular destinations in the 2019 cohort.

CFNRV board member John Muffo created a scholarship fund because of the impact scholarships had on his own education. Muffo said, “Why we decided to fund a scholarship is quite simple. Higher education has always been very important to me as a way to improve my life personally and professionally. My own undergraduate education was funded in part by a partial scholarship. I feel a responsibility to pass it on to another generation.”

CFNRV Executive Director Jessica Wirgau hopes more community members will support the program and help expand its impact. Wirgau said, “We were thrilled to reach a new milestone in 2019, awarding over $80,000 in scholarships to students from across the region. Every year the demand for scholarship funding goes up, and we are still only able to fund a fraction of the many qualified applications we receive. These scholarships benefit the individual students first and foremost, but they also benefit our broader region by helping to cultivate a qualified workforce, with many of our recipients staying right here in the NRV after graduation. We know that creating a scholarship fund puts a higher education within reach and supports the next generation of NRV leaders. Now we need more individuals, families, and businesses to help us meet the demand for funding by creating an endowed scholarship.”

Muffo agrees that benefits from the program accrue to more than just individual recipients. Muffo said, “The benefit to the Foundation and the community is also obvious. A scholarship is a hand up rather than a hand out. It helps a person become more self-sufficient as well as a better informed citizen.”

A complete list of scholarship winners is below. The 2020 scholarship application will open online in October 2019 with a deadline of February 7, 2020. Anyone interested in starting an endowed scholarship fund to support an NRV student may contact the foundation at 540-381-8999 or email jessicawirgau@cfnrv.org.

2019 Scholarship Recipients

Destiny Akers from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 500 from the Evelyn Rutrough Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Jantzyn Alley from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Brooke Anderson from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 750 from the Casey Jones Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Elijah Anderson from Grayson County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Plummer Family Scholarship Fund,.

Megan Asbrand from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Diana Love Legacy Instrumental Music Scholarship Fund.

Emily Barrett from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Hannah Belcher from Narrows High has been awarded $ 500 from the Laura J. Pynn Scholarship Fund.

Jenna Bender from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Chelsea Booth from Wytheville Community College has been awarded $ 1000 from the Wings Fund.

Adam Bradshaw from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Larry Turman Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Carter Brockman from Auburn High School has been awarded $ 900 from the William F. Teel Scholarship Fund.

Madison Cornell from Pulaski County High School has been awarded $ 2000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Caden Dean-Sauter from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 900 from the Woodrow and Elma Turman Scholarship Fund.

Kaela Dunlap from Shenandoah University has been awarded $ 1000 from the Diana Love Legacy Instrumental Music Scholarship Fund.

Keiona Eaves from New River Community College has been awarded $ 2000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Ailene Edwards from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 500 from the Dana R. and Marilyn Spencer Scholarship Fund.

Kimberly Fike from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Morgan Fisher from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded $ 1000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Community Hospital/CNRVMC.

Garrett Fleming from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 3000 from the Lineweaver Scholarship Fund.

Nevaeh Ford from Eastern Montgomery High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Epperly Family Fund.

Sture Forsman from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1500 from the Jim Gwazdauskas Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Vance Garren from Eastern Montgomery High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Epperly Family Fund.

Shaylee Gearhart from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Cosette Geesey from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Paulina Hall from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Brian Hammond from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Kalina Hanowski from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 750 from the Blacksburg High School NHS Legacy Fund.

Christopher Henley from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 1000 from the Muffo Family Scholarship Fund.

Denise Hood from New River Community College has been awarded $ 1000 from the Wings Fund.

Bethany Hsiao from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Terry Helms Memorial Scholarship Fund ;.

Hannah Jirsa from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 750 from the Blacksburg High School NHS Legacy Fund.

Sebastian Kocz from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the June Liang Wang Scholarship Fund.

Margaret Kovick from The American University of Rome has been awarded $ 1000 from the Allan Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Tyler Kwak from Christiansburg High School has been awarded $ 500 from the A. Phillip Meadows Leadership Fund.

Julia Lucas from Radford University has been awarded $ 1000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Breanna Lytton from Pulaski County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Community Hospital/CNRVMC.

Kayla Marshall from Roanoke College has been awarded $ 1018 from the Warren Lloyd Holtzman Freedom Scholarship Fund.

Bethany Miller from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Williamsburg Consort Symphonic Band Scholarship Fund.

Kerrie Miller from Auburn High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Community Hospital/CNRVMC.

Jackson Moxley from Grayson County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Plummer Family Scholarship Fund.

Cooper Neeble from Christiansburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Marcus Allen Ford Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Carrie Orey from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Sierra Pennington from Eastern Montgomery High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Marie Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Leah Pierce from Homeschool has been awarded $ 1000 from the Auxiliary of Radford Community Hospital/CNRVMC.

Bridgette Poff from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Lily Pratt from Floyd County High school has been awarded $ 500 from the Mary Ann King Peters Scholarship Fund.

Victoria Pratt-Myers from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Citizens Scholarship Fund.

Dawson Racek from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Chris Dudley Scholarship Fund.

Hugh Scarpa-Friedman from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 500 from the Dennis Stauffer Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Hannah Shuff from Narrows High School has been awarded $ 840 from the Domermuth Scholarship Fund.

Brett Smith from Eastern Montgomery High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Allan Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Delaney Snead from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Reagan Snead from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Kayla Snyder from Radford University has been awarded $ 1000 from the Marie Mandelstamm Scholarship Fund.

Daniel Song from Christiansburg High School has been awarded $ 2000 from the Doris Huff Elliott Business Excellence Scholarship Fund.

Elisa Gael Suttle from Pulaski County High School has been awarded $ 500 from the T.Scott Eaton Scholarship Fund.

Dakota Talbert from Pulaski County High School has been awarded $ 2000 from the Jo Ann Slate Smith Scholarship Fund.

Holden Trimmer from Auburn High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Allison Trittschuh from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Hannah Vest from Floyd County High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the James E. and Kate H. Board Scholarship Fund.

Raaga Unmesha Vullikanti from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 2000 from the Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Hailey Wade from Auburn High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the Juanita Shelor Hall Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Devon Watty from Radford University has been awarded $ 2000 from the Adrienne Marie Rhudy Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Jacob Weaver from Dayspring Christian Academy has been awarded $ 500 from the Eric E. Sutphin Memorial Scholarship For the Children of Law Enforcement Officers.

Whitney Welbaum from Blacksburg High School has been awarded $ 1000 from the June Liang Wang Scholarship Fund.

Hannah Wohlford from Virginia Tech has been awarded $ 2000 from the Virginia Tech Women’s Club Scholarship Fund.

Brianna Wright from Gateway Christian School Blacksburg, VA has been awarded $ 500 from the Eric E. Sutphin Memorial Scholarship For the Children of Law Enforcement Officers.