SLI continued its successes this year, helping the 2019 cohort of scholars access college opportunities, gain recognition for their achievements, and secure funding to help pay for their higher education:
- SLI scholars were admitted to and offered support packages at Bridgewater College, Eastern Mennonite University, George Mason University, Georgia State University, James Madison University, Liberty University, Lord Fairfax Community College, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount University, Old Dominion University, Radford University, Shenandoah University, University of Mary Washington, University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
- The 12 SLI scholars who graduated from Winchester’s John Handley High School and Harrisonburg High School were granted $43,000 in SLI college scholarship awards and $11,000 in SLI computer awards. These awards will help to fill a critical gap in covering expenses for their first year of college.
- Thanks to new financial backing from the Richmond area, this year Shenandoah Valley SLI expanded its support to include SLI scholars in Richmond. These generous donations allowed SLI to award $10,000 in scholarships to members of the cohort of five graduating high school students. The Richmond SLI program is directed by Dr. Peter Iver Kaufman, professor at the University of Richmond and founder of the original SLI at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
- SLI teachers and professors also helped to connect scholars to additional funding opportunities that recognize academic merit and leadership development. In Harrisonburg alone this year, graduating SLI scholars accepted nearly $470,000 in college awards and support grants from the institutions they will attend. These awards included a JMU Centennial Scholarship, two JMU First Generation Scholarships, an Ace Scholarship at JMU, two McKinney Ace Scholarships at Bridgewater College, and a Virginia Merit award at VCU. Several students also received local awards totaling $8,000 from the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Harrisonburg and the Harrisonburg Education Foundation.
This summer, SLI scholars in Winchester, Harrisonburg and Richmond are involved in a variety of activities such as volunteering at a homeless shelter, shadowing university students doing research, and developing literacy skills. Additional activities include employment and participation in leadership conferences such as the Hispanic College Institute at Virginia Tech and HOSA-Future Health Professionals.
We are already preparing learning and leadership opportunities for the new academic year, and a new grant of $6,000 from Wells Fargo will help cover anticipated costs associated with SLI’s Early College curriculum, leadership development programming and computer awards.