Each year The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation’s Scholarship Program offers many ways for students to pursue a post-secondary education.  There are scholarships designated for graduating seniors of certain schools; others are awarded for specific fields of study such as nursing or law.  Financial need, not academic achievement, is the basis of others, and some focus on sports and extra activities.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation administers more than 500 Funds with over 100 of those Funds designated for statewide scholarships.  In the 2013-14 school year, the Foundation funded 398 scholarships for a total of $446,100.

Beginning November of each year, students may apply through the Foundation’s online application process. Most scholarships are for $1,000; this amount can make a difference for students piecing together a financial package to attend college.

One such student is TylerAnn Jones.  TylerAnn is now a junior majoring in Education at West Virginia University-Parkersburg. She is a busy student who set a goal to attend college and earn her education degree. TylerAnn has gone to great lengths to make that happen.  During her high school years TylerAnn worked several jobs including student tutor, painter, and maintenance worker.

After beginning her college career she has again proven her determination and work ethic by holding jobs that include part-time cashier and receptionist for a gas station/towing company, babysitting for two young children and part-time bank teller.  Tyler Ann’s jobs are in addition to achieving Dean’s List and finding time to volunteer for Boys and Girls Club and the Humane Society.

In Tyler Ann’s own words she tells what receiving a scholarship from The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation has meant to her.

“Throughout the past year as a college student I have experienced many ups and downs in my college career and personal life, and in the end I have remained successfully on tract to obtaining my degree.  This past year has been difficult and yet rewarding for me in my educational career.  I have been taking extra classes every semester and even went to school full-time this past summer in order to catch up and stay on track with my degree selection.  Taking on this extra burden and school responsibilities has added to my already massive workload, but I successfully undertook the challenge and accomplished almost straight A’s.  I have very high expectations and goals set for my future in education.  I am still on track to obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education along with Social Studies 5-9 Specialization from West Virginia University of Parkersburg.  I feel that I have finally found the major and career field that I am passionate about, and this discovery has brought a great deal of joy to me.

As a student, I am a very hard-working and committed young woman.  I have been placed on the Dean’s List multiple times.  Although it is difficult sometimes, I understand that the dedication I put into my schooling while also working multiple part time jobs will pay off in the end.  I am also an active volunteer at the Humane Society of Parkersburg, The Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, and the Wood County Jr. Livestock Association Sales committee.  I continue to have a financial need for this scholarship.  Without it, I am afraid that I would not be able to attend school and achieve a degree in Education.  I truly appreciate the opportunity that this scholarship has opened up to me.”

Receiving a scholarship can be life-changing for some students, but establishing the scholarship often stems from a life-changing event for donors.  Creating a scholarship and offering the gift of education to others is a way of honoring a lost loved one.  The Adam Michael Burns Memorial scholarship was created by his parents to pass on their son’s legacy.  Dana and Valerie Burns share their feelings saying “We created the Adam Michael Burns Memorial Scholarship in memory of our son Adam who was killed in a car accident while in college at WVU.  Adam was majoring in secondary education and was looking forward to helping educate future generations.  What better way to honor him than to provide a scholarship in his name to a student from Sissonville High School attending WVU; in essence Adam is helping future generations!”

Please visit www.tgkvf.org or call Susan Hoover, Scholarship Program Officer, for more information about The Greater Kanawha Valley’s Scholarship Program.