The Community Foundation of the New River Valley (CFNRV) is pleased to announce its annual call for scholarship applications, which opened October 1, 2021. High school students, college students,  trade students, and adults returning to college in the New River Valley (NRV) can review over 45 available scholarship opportunities and apply at https://cfnrv.org/scholarships/applicants-information/. Applications are due by January 31, 2022, and recipients will be announced in April of 2022.

Established in 2002, the program aims to support the educational aspirations of students so that they can achieve their full potential, to nurture a skilled workforce in the region, and cultivate future community leaders. It has grown steadily over the past 19 years, awarding over $850,000 to 750 students from over 45 endowed scholarship funds. Individuals, families, and NRV businesses establish the funds, which the CFNRV invests for long-term growth. The CFNRV also manages the application process. Each scholarship fund has its own unique criteria, meeting the interests of the donor and ensuring that there is an opportunity for students of all kinds to earn a scholarship.

Last year, the Foundation celebrated the largest year of the program to date, awarding over $117,000 in scholarships to 78 students from across the NRV. The 2021 group of scholarship winners were a diverse group. 21.7% were first-generation college students, and 29.4% qualified for a full Pell grant. Many recipients are staying in Virginia to attend Virginia Tech, Radford University, and New River Community College, while others are attending schools across the country.

This year, the traditional scholarship awards dinner was changed to a scholarship picnic to allow social distancing and to be outdoors, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Many were happy to have an in-person celebration this year, as the 2020 celebration was canceled. The BHS National Honor Society Legacy Scholarship was established in 2015, and members of the National Honor Society at Blacksburg High School have raised money to endow and grow the fund over time. The scholarship benefits a student with strong academic achievement, a strong track record of leadership and service to the school and/or community, and a strong desire to continue that level of service during college. Katherine Lynde, an English teacher at BHS and National Honor Society Sponsor, sees the relationship with the CFNRV as an important way to support graduating BHS students. “When the Blacksburg High School National Honor Society officers and sponsors decided to create and build an endowed scholarship fund almost a decade ago, we immediately sought the assistance of the CFNRV; we have been so happy that we did. After successfully raising the required balance through various fundraising events, our organization is now proud to say we provide ongoing annual scholarships to graduating Blacksburg High School students, and CFNRV manages the fund for us, solicits scholarship applications, and selects recipients based on our specific criteria. It’s been an absolutely fantastic partnership!”

Laura Pynn, Administration and Programs Manager at the CFNRV, said, “Overseeing the scholarships program is my favorite part of my role at the Foundation. I’m proud of the diversity that our scholarships offer to students in the New River Valley. Not only do we provide scholarships for students attending a college or university, but many of our scholarships are focused on trade schools as well. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, the value of trades and trade schools have really come to the forefront, and we want to be sure that those who choose that route also have the opportunity to apply for scholarships to get their education as well”. More information about the scholarship program and how to apply is available at https://cfnrv.org/scholarships/applicants-information/.  Anyone interested in establishing a scholarship fund can contact the Foundation