The Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has announced that $377,181 in 222 academic scholarships and scholar grants has been awarded to 179 graduate, undergraduate and vocational students throughout the territory. In addition to CFVI’s annual academic scholarships funded by CFVI donors, funding was made available from the Fund for the Virgin Islands (FFVI) to provide scholar grants to students who were directly impacted by hurricanes Irma and Maria.
Thanks to CFVI donors, scholarships have been made available to students for more than 20 years. To date, the foundation has awarded nearly $3 million in academic scholarships to approximately 1,000 V.I. students.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the foundation recognized that many students and their families would be faced with a number of challenges that could potentially delay a student’s ability to pursue post-secondary education. In response to those critical needs, it expanded its application eligibility requirements by making applications available to students who were displaced by the storms.
Additional outreach was made to students, parents and education administrators throughout the territory to ensure that students were made fully aware of this opportunity. In addition to extending the application deadline, the Community Foundation also hosted Saturday workshops on St. Croix and St. Thomas for applicants who had limited access to technology to complete pending scholarship applications.
Due to the generosity of CFVI donors, 179 Virgin Islands students will receive financial support to attend schools such as Cornell College, George Washington University, Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of the Virgin Islands. CFVI scholarships and grant awards range from $700-$8,000.
The FFVI Scholar Grants were made available through donations to the Fund for the Virgin Islands (FFVI). This fund was established at the Community Foundation just days after Irma’s arrival in the territory. Its prupose is to provide monies for critical needs in the U.S. Virgin Islands, both to support short-term relief efforts and to enhance the well-being of future generations.
A total of $250,000 in FFVI Scholar Grants was awarded to 158 students to assist with additional education expenses. Grantees were selected based on the students’ financial need and their direct response to questions on the application about the impact of the storms on their personal and academic lives.
D’Briault Atemazem, the 2018 Anna Green Walsh Scholarship and an FFVI Scholar Grant recipient, expressed his gratitude for receiving these awards. “Thanks to the Community Foundation, students like me are able to pursue their dreams of higher education!” Atemazem is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree, majoring in mechanical engineering, at Gannon University in Erie, Penn.
In 2018 CFVI administered two new scholarship funds, the Making a Difference (M.A.D.) Scholarship and the Good Hope Country Day School Scholarship. If any organization or business is interested in awarding scholarships next year, please consider establishing a scholarship fund at the CFVI. The scholarship application, review and award process are managed by the foundation. All a person needs to do is name their fund and begin fundraising for 2019.
Henry Wheatley, founder of the Artrelle M. Wheatley Scholarship Fund and longtime CFVI supporter, has been awarding scholarships for over 20 years. His scholarship fund was established in 1997 in honor of his late wife. Each year a student at the University of the Virgin Islands who exhibits passion for community service receives a full-tuition scholarship for one academic year.
“It has been such a rewarding experience to be able to provide academic scholarships to our young scholars,” said Wheatley. “I encourage others to consider establishing a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation as an investment in the future of the Virgin Islands.”
Thanks to CFVI Angels, scholarship funds at CFVI are operated without any administrative fees. Angels are CFVI donors that make an annual gift of $500 or more to the foundation. Because of the generosity of Angels, 100 percent of scholarship funds will continue to benefit students’ academic commitments.
In the upcoming week, the Community Foundation will be launching its Scholar Spotlight series. Interviews with its scholarship and scholar grant recipients will be available on CFVI’s website and the following social media platforms:
CFVI scholarships are managed at cfvi.fluidreview.com. For more information, contact Khadija de Lagarde, CFVI Grants and Programs manager at [email protected].