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Community: CFNRV awards record number of scholarships

Community: CFNRV awards record number of scholarships

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The Community Foundation of the New River Valley is pleased to announce a record number of scholarships in 2021. More than $115,000 in scholarships will be awarded to 78 students from across the New River Valley. The CFNRV will host a celebration for students with a picnic in the park this spring.

The scholarship program began in 2002 to support the educational goals of students. Scholarships can help students reach their full potential, promote a skilled workforce and develop future community leaders. The program has grown over the past 19 years, awarding $844,949 to more than 700 students from 45 endowed scholarship funds. Individuals, families and NRV businesses create funds, and the CFNRV manages them.

The 2021 scholarship winners were a diverse group: 21.7% are first-generation college students, and 29.4% of our awardees qualify for a full Pell grant. Recipients will attend a wide range of colleges, with many staying in the state of Virginia. Most winners will attend Virginia Tech, Radford University and New River Community College.

The CFNRV is excited to expand the number of scholarships given out each year. This is in many thanks to generous donors and organizations in our region. Sally Craig started the Williamsburg Consort Symphonic Band Scholarship Fund after a festival that her and her husband started. After the festival ended, the scholarship was a great way to keep the memory of the festival going. Craig said: “Founding the Williamsburg Consort Music Festival was a rewarding experience, and now we are able to keep the memory of our festival alive for many more years with our Williamsburg Consort Symphonic Band Scholarship Fund with the Community Foundation of the New River Valley. Thanks so much for your help with this!”

CFNRV Chief Executive Officer Jessica Wirgau is pleased to see how scholarship awards continue to grow year over year. “We received over 140 applications this year from so many outstanding students across the NRV," Wirgau said. "We always wish we could fund more students, and each new scholarship fund created gets us closer to supporting the incredible young people who apply each year. We are grateful to the donors and to the scholarship review committee for their support and dedication of time to this program.”

The 2021 scholarship application will open online in October 2021 with a deadline in early February 2022. Anyone interested in starting an endowed scholarship fund to support an NRV student may contact the foundation at 381-8999 or email

Submitted by Ashley Ege

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