UMFS Scholarship Program

Supporting Students’ Next Steps

The UMFS Scholarship program helps students who have been served by any UMFS program for at least 6 months.

The scholarship pays for post-secondary education including:

  • Vocational education training
  • Colleges or universities, including community college
  • UMFS Courage to Succeed program expenses

Application Process

A committee of staff and community volunteers work together to oversee the UMFS Scholarship Program. Decisions are based on a standard application and the committee’s knowledge of the student’s financial need and motivation to pursue post-secondary education.

Applications are due by May 31 each year. Recipients are selected by the UMFS Scholarship Committee and notified by late June.

The UMFS Scholarship Program includes three scholarships:

Pop Smith Scholarship: The Pop Smith Scholarship supports students pursuing a higher-education degree or a certified vocational training program, and also provides scholarships for the Courage to Succeed program. The scholarship was established in 1974 as a way to honor Reverend E. Leon “Pop” Smith, the superintendent of the Virginia Methodist Children’s Home, now UMFS, from 1949 – 1974. Pop Smith was a dedicated child advocate who cared for hundreds of children during his tenure.

Richard P. Leedom Memorial Scholarship: The Richard P. Leedom Memorial Scholarship Fund awards financial scholarships in the amount of $1,250 per semester, or $2,500 per year, to current or former clients of UMFS who are pursuing a higher-education degree or a certified vocational training program, for up to 4 semesters. Applicants must be making suitable progress towards completion of a vocational program or be enrolled in at least three courses at a four-year college or two-year college.

Carl B. Dickson Scholarship: The Carl B. Dickson Scholarship supports high school graduates who are in the foster care system or living in a single parent home. Carl B. Dickson was born on 9-18-1951 and established this scholarship to provide for the education and welfare of these students. Candidates must be enrolled as a part-time or full-time student in an accredited 2-year or 4-year college or university, community college, trade school or other post-secondary education in the United States.

Email us at with any questions you may have about the UMFS Scholarship Program.