Arif Michael Vega, Staff Writer
The Forum, Dec. 2017
The scholarship program at PVCC is both robust and generous, and the call for more students to take advantage of it rings loud.
There were 156 guests at PVCC’s main building Friday, Nov. 13. The crowd, comprised of scholarship recipients and local philanthropists, had come together for an early Thanksgiving. They gathered to meet each other, to converse, and to better understand the relationship between education and philanthropy. They also came together to honor the scholars and donors that work to weave a strong future for our community.
There is a deficit to be addressed, and that deficit is in student participation. Felicia Davis is one recipient of the awards celebrated that night. With only two hundred students having completed the application process, competition was slim, she says. “Out of that, this year, we had around 138 recipients.” Her advice for the timid among potential applicants is simple. “Apply anyway, if you have the chance, why not?”
The scholarships are granted to students with a variety of backgrounds. Homeschoolers, high achievers, minorities, low income and programs of study are all examples. The donors, too are diverse. The local Chamber of Commerce, businesses both international and local, individuals and families were all represented at the dinner.
Student ambassador Kathryn Morris was another recipient. She earned awards through the Bast family scholarship, which is specific only to GPA and offered to any residents of the Charlottesville-Albemarle area. Morris intends to transfer to UVA to double major in biology and sociology.
Speeches were given by the scholars, who paid tribute with stories of their progress and roadblocks in their education, with the overall theme of improving themselves as individuals and families. Others spoke on uplifting community and the benefits we all gain by investing in our neighbor’s education. Among these speakers was the president of the PVCC educational foundation—and genealogist—Robert Capon. By show of hands, Capon celebrated the diverse nature of the attendees, including veterans, immigrants and other disadvantaged groups. Citing his own family’s history of immigration and education, Capon illustrated the path from his illiterate ancestry to his own position at PVCC.
The dinner was generously catered by La Cucina Classica. Co-owner Juan Hernandez saw to his duty with gusto, ensuring all present were content for the evening.