The Halifax Educational Foundation, Inc. (HEF) and its sponsors awarded eleven scholarships in an awards ceremony held recently at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in South Boston. Following the awards ceremony, the recipients and their families were honored with a reception. Awarding scholarships to deserving students directly supports the mission of the HEF which is “To enhance the educational opportunities available to the citizens of of Halifax County, South Boston and South Central Virginia.” This year marks the eighth consecutive year in which the HEF has awarded scholarships to outstanding students. “It is a pleasure for The Halifax Educational Foundation to award the various scholarships to the very deserving individuals. We are elated to be able to support these outstanding students as they further their education and pursue their dreams,” said Linda Owen, Scholarship Committee Chair.
Working with Ms. Owen on the Scholarship Committee are HEF board members Kathy Bane, Jay Burnett, Denise Taylor-Forrest, and Steve Mize. In an awards ceremony in the HEF Suite at the SVHEC, the following sponsors and their scholarship recipients were recognized.
Denise Taylor-Forrest presented the Hope Scholarship to Steven Keatts on behalf of Chris Lumsden, CEO of Halifax Regional Hospital, who was unable to attend the ceremony. Mr. Keatts is a 31 year old husband and father of two who is returning to school to pursue a degree and become an LPN. He hopes to one day go on to be an RN in a neo-natal unit. His pursuit began over the summer where he kept an A average in all five of his classes. Mr. Keatts bowls in a Fall/Winter bowling league as well as providing for his family and raising his two young children, all while attending SVCC.
The Hope Scholarship was established as a tribute to Chris Lumsden’s parents, Buford T. and Alveleta Hope Arthur Lumsden. Since his parents provided him and his siblings with the education and opportunities to be successful in life, he and his family were pleased to establish this scholarship in their parents’ honor as a means of giving back to this community.
Ms. Taylor-Forrest also presented three Business of Art & Design (BA&D) Scholarships. The first BA&D Scholarship was awarded to Lewis Guthrie. Mr. Guthrie has been enrolled in the Business of Art and Design Program since 2009 when he graduated high school. He has been involved in many projects such as creating the new logo for the Halifax-South Boston Public Library System, creating sponsor recognition slides for The Prizery, and filming and editing a “Day in the Life” video that was used for the Gala Event hosted by the Halifax Educational Foundation. Mr. Guthrie aspires to become a film director/producer and eventually start his own business. He is seeking his degree through Danville Community College.
Ms. Taylor-Forrest presented the second BA&D Scholarship to Anthony Chafatelli. Mr. Chafatelli is a 2012 graduate of Halifax County High School who had been in the dual enrollment program at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center since August of 2008. He is very involved in church groups such as choir, youth group, food bank collection and fundraising to build a sister church in Uganda. Mr. Chafatelli was also recognized for a 13 year perfect school attendance as well as perfect SOL scores. He aspires to be a computer programmer and to create programs that help to make the world a better place to live. He is seeking his degree through Southside Virginia Community College.
Ms. Taylor-Forrest presented the third BA&D Scholarship to Bradley Cole. Mr. Cole is a third year student at DCC where he has been enrolled in the Business of Art and Design program. In addition to his college career, Cole is also involved with a local church group that visits nursing homes throughout the county. He would like to pursue a career in the field of graphic design and video game design. Mr. Cole is scheduled to complete his degree in May of 2013 which, by his statements, could not have happened without the help of the BA&D Scholarship. He is seeking his degree through DCC.
Steve Mize presented three ODEC Scholarships to Robert Cheek, Kayla Abedeljalil, and Sijourney Gayles in the absence of Old Dominion Electric Cooperative representative Will Solomon. Mr. Cheek is a single father of an 8 year old son and enjoys hunting, fishing and conservation; he is also an avid bowler, a freemason, youth bowling coach and a Little League baseball coach. Mr. Cheek would like to be a practicing RN as well as an instructor. He is pursuing his degree through SVCC.
Mr. Mize presented the second ODEC Scholarship to Kayla Abedeljalil. Ms. Abedeljalil is trying to plan for her future in a career that will be stable. Since she was a small child she always looked up to her mother who is a nurse and wanted to be like her. Her goal is to become a registered nurse and work with children and babies. She is pursuing her degree through SVCC.
Mr. Mize then presented the third ODEC Scholarship to Sijourney Gayles. Ms. Gayles is a 2011 graduate of Halifax County High School and is a member of two choirs in her church. She has always been told that she was good with children so she is working toward a degree in Early Childhood Education and would like to open her own day care center one day. She is pursuing her degree through DCC.
Mr. Mize also presented the Virginia Penick Estate Scholarship to Amber Walton. The Penick Scholarship was established by the daughters of the late Virginia Penick to further the mission of the HEF. Ms. Walton is a 2012 graduate of Halifax County High School who was also a dual enrollment student with 18 college credits at the time of graduation. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in dental hygiene. She is a member of a Ruritan club, participates in plays as well as Poetry Out-Loud and was an outstanding member of the high school track team in which she received the Role Model award at the end of the track season. Ms. Walton graduated with a 3.5 GPA, 69th in her class, and is pursuing her degree through DCC.
HEF Scholarship Committee Chairperson Linda Owen presented three HEF Scholarships to Tonya Miller, Kandace Daniel, and Walter Brown. Ms. Miller is 5 classes away from her teaching degree. She attempted to reach this goal 25 years ago but put it on hold to raise her children. Receiving this scholarship has given her the opportunity to overcome one more obstacle in her path. She is currently a Sunday School teacher at her church and has been employed by Edmondson’s Cleaners for 11 years as well as raising her children and attending classes. She is pursuing her degree through Mary Baldwin College.
Ms. Daniel is a 2012 graduate of Halifax County High School and is pursuing a degree in teaching and hopes to go on to become a social worker or counselor. She is a member of FCCLA and aspires to open a youth shelter in Halifax County where she would like to help guide young people towards success. She is pursuing her degree through DCC. Mr. Brown is a 2012 graduate of Halifax County High School and is pursuing a degree in engineering through DCC. He hopes to pursue a career in mechanical engineering.
Established in 1997 as a non-profit organization, the Halifax Educational Foundation, Inc. (HEF) operates to promote and enhance the availability of affordable and accessible educational and job training opportunities through the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (SVHEC) in South Boston for the citizens of Southern Virginia. The foundation is led by a 33-member Board of Directors consisting of community leaders, elected officials and volunteers. For additional information on the wide variety of programs available at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, feel free to visit the SVHEC at 820 Bruce Street in downtown South Boston, VA, or call (434) 572-5440. Additional information about the HEF is also available here. For more information about the HEF scholarship opportunities, click here or email the HEF at
. Applications are accepted from April 1st through July 27th annually.