UMFS Awards Eight Scholarships

March 8, 2018

Eight young men and women were recognized on Wednesday during the annual UMFS Scholarship Reception at Charterhouse School in Richmond. Eight talented students. Eight unique stories. Eight bright futures.

During the ceremony, Paul, a student at Virginia Commonwealth University, thanked UMFS and the scholarship sponsors for their support. Paul is autistic, but through his work with the UMFS Courage to Succeed program, he said many people wouldn’t know he has autism if he didn’t disclose it.

“This program has helped me quite a bit,” he said.

Sophia, a former foster child and UMFS Project LIFE participant, said she can’t believe she’s going to graduate in May. “I never expected to even get in to VCU,” she said.

Mark was previously in the UMFS Treatment Foster Care program. He is the first in his family go to college, thanks in part to the UMFS Scholarship Program. He’s now a freshman at Hampden-Sydney College.

Photo: Mark, a student at Hampden-Sydney, was unable to attend the Scholarship Reception, so he sent in a video thanking donors and UMFS.

The UMFS Scholarship Program includes the Pop Smith and Richard P. Leedom Memorial scholarships. Each provides financial aid for qualified UMFS alumni and students currently enrolled in the Courage to Succeed program who attend accredited post-secondary or vocational schools. Scholarship recipients are selected bi-annually by the UMFS Scholarship Committee.

The Pop Smith Scholarship was established in 1974 in honor of Reverend E. Leon “Pop” Smith, the superintendent of the Virginia Methodist Children’s Home from 1949-1974.

The Richard P. Leedom Memorial Scholarship was founded in 2016 when Richard passed away at age 100. His children founded the scholarship to help those in need aspire to further their education.

If you’d like to contribute to the UMFS Scholarship Fund, please visit us online and specify UMFS Scholarship Fund in the comments box.

Fall 2017-Spring 2018
UMFS Scholarship Recipients

Nathan Bainger: Nathan is enrolled in Courage to Succeed and is majoring in anthropology at Reynolds Community College.

Sophia Booker: Sophia is a former Project LIFE participant and current UMFS employee. She’s majoring in social work at VCU.

Christopher Labrador: Chris is enrolled in Courage to Succeed. He was previously in the UMFS Child & Family Healing Center and is a Charterhouse School graduate. He is enrolled at Reynolds Community College.

Zach Owen: Zach is enrolled in Courage to Succeed and is a business administration major at Reynolds Community College.

Chase Prince: Chase is enrolled in Courage to Succeed. He’s an engineering student at VCU.

Paul Switzer: Paul is enrolled in Courage to Succeed and is studying business administration at VCU.

Mark Smith: Mark was enrolled in the UMFS Treatment Foster Care Program in 2014. He’s a student at Hampden Sydney College.

Reed Whisnant (pictured right): Reed is enrolled in Courage to Succeed and is a student at Reynolds Community College.