LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — For Central Virginia Community College freshman Isaiah Rose, the skyrocketing cost of college almost kept him from earning a degree.
“I wasn’t too motivated on college coming out of my senior year, but when they announced the Promise scholarship, it was just the opportunity of a lifetime.”
Lynchburg Beacon of Hope’s Stay Close, Go Far Promise Scholarship covers the cost of attending Central Virginia Community College, or an equivalent amount at a local four-year college.
“It paves the way for our future,” said Rose, “and without it, it would be a lot harder to come up out of our community.”
Essentially, half of his time in college is now free, taking a big financial burden off of his shoulders before he transfers to a four-year school.
“I plan on transferring to VCU to pursue software engineering.”
This is the first year the scholarship has been in place for Lynchburg students, and Rose is one of more than 200 taking advantage.
“The word opportunity is the big word in this whole thing,” said Laura Hamilton, the Executive Director of Lynchburg Beacon of Hope, “and the fact that you can remove that debt burden before a student even starts, and you can help them really access things that maybe they wouldn’t have had a chance to access, all of the achievement is on them. We are just sort of the step up.”
Lynchburg philanthropists George and Cinda Hurt donated $500,000 to the scholarship.
Hearing from recipients today showed them it was money well spent.
“I think it’s important because what they said was, without this, they probably would not be able to progress,” said George Hurt, “and this is providing a lot of the financial support that allows them to move ahead, so that’s kind of important to me.”