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GWCRHSAA   Scholarships

2024 Application

About The GWCRHSAA Scholarship

Continued financial support from alumni members, miscellaneous community sources, and friends have enabled George Washington Carver Regional High School Alumni Association, Incorporation to remain a viable financial resource for graduating seniors from local area schools planning to continue their education. In compliance with its mission to aid in the advancement of education and cultural enrichment, GWCRHSAA, INC formed an education program spearheaded by Robert “Bobby” Wilson (deceased). Jolanda Lawson (deceased), a 1994 Culpeper County High School graduate, was our first scholarship recipient. She received $500 in 1995, attended Hagerstown Business College, and later received her business degree from Strayer University. During the early years, applicants were only required to write a letter to the association expressing financial need, and scholarship amounts ranged from $250 to $500. 

In 2014, the scholarship application process became more regimented, a more formal scholarship application was created, and the board adopted specific scholarship criteria: awards would be available to any high school graduate within Carver’s 4-County region: Culpeper, Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock. In addition, descendants of alumni living anywhere outside of the 4-County area would be eligible for a scholarship award. Qualifying students planning to attend a 4-year college would receive $1,000 and students planning to attend a community college, or a trade school would receive $500. As the number of scholarship applicants increased, the application became more competitive. It is tweaked each year for better clarity and relevance; the amounts remain the same. The board amended its scholarship policy in 2021 so that at least two qualifying students from each high school in the four-county area, and two out-of-area applicants are guaranteed a scholarship. If a county school has no applicants, that school’s allocation may be transferred to another county that has fewer than two qualifying applicants. 

Myriad fund-raising activities have supported the scholarship program: bake sales, raffles, state rallies, yard sales, donations from alumni members, community supporters, and reunion banquets. Unfortunately, in acquiescence with the governor’s Phase Three Guidelines for Social Gathering resulting from COVID-19, restrictions limited fund-raising efforts, and the 2020 fall banquet was canceled. Thus, no scholarships were offered for the 2021 school year. Fortunately, the Black Business Expo event held at the Carver Center in August 2021 enabled the scholarship program to regain a comfortable financial foundation, and the program continues to thrive today. 

Our scholarship committee usually consists of five members who volunteer their time to stay abreast of scholarship developments throughout the year. Alumni membership is recommended; some members serve only one year, and others serve multiple years. Committee members review the application process to attract more students and explore ways to involve parents in the application process. 

Out of a glaring need to aid students who struggle with the application process, Evelyn Madden formed a mentoring program in 2019 called SMARTAG (Scholarship Mentoring for Applicants Requesting Tuition Assistance Grants). Mentors consisted of retirees from each of the 4-County areas, and they served as a second pair of eyes for students applying for scholarships from any organization or school. The program provides students with guidance in time management, scholarship searches, application directions, assistance with grammar and mechanics, and content areas of the application process. Students who participate in the program increase their chances to receive a scholarship by enabling them to produce top-quality applications. With the aid of mentor Greta Dickerson, our first major participants, DeShawn Latimer and Tamea Thrift received a combined $24,500 as a result of their participation in the program. Students already enrolled in college have also contacted our mentors for help in applying for grants and internships. 

It is most heartwarming to be able to grant financial assistance to students filled with aspirations to continue their education and reach their career goals. It is even more gratifying to witness the success of our recipients and know we played a small role in helping them on their journey. Since 1995, GWCRHSAA, INC has awarded 214 scholarships totaling $193,750.

Evelyn Madden

Scholarship Chair

Celebrate 75 Years of Education and 28 Years of Scholarships!

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Scholarship Board Leadership 
Board member Evelyn Madden, Vice Chair for Education, makes things happen positively for students throughout the four-county area with her management of our scholarship program. 

Evelyn Madden
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