New scholarship in action to help struggling students

Emma Rose Olsen, Copy Editor and Social Media Manager

Forsyth Tech Community College is a perfect starting place for many high schoolers in Forsyth County. The community college is now offering a new scholarship called the “Hope and Opportunity” scholarship. 

BB&T is funding this program for the community college for six years, contributing a whopping $870,000 grant. 

This scholarship enables qualifying high school students to receive free tuition while still in high school. This allows them to get a head start on their college career.

This scholarship will be available to students from low-income households who graduate at the end of the current school year. The scholarship will allow approximately 2,550 students to participate in their career programs for two years which can later lead to students attending four-year colleges. Tuition, books, fees and other expenses that are necessary for a college student will be included in the scholarship.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines recently announced the new program and his excitement for it.

“With a two-year technical degree students could get skills to work good-paying jobs in areas such as plumbing, electrical, heating and air conditioning, medical technologies, aviation maintenance and others without crippling debt of college loans,” said Joines.

Joines said that these students that receive this scholarship and go into the work field can make a large impact on the economy. Those receiving those jobs could have $102 million impact. 

This scholarships qualifications are:

  • Be graduates of a Forsyth County public or private high school no earlier than 2019
  • Students must be between the ages of 18 and 21
  • Be enrolled fully at Forsyth Tech and take at least 12 credits of classes
  • Take advantages of other means of funding college
  • Maintain at least a 2.0 GPA
  • If testing shows deficiency in math, reading, or other basic skills, students must participate in a remedial program 
  • Students must commit to staying in Forsyth County for an additional two years after graduating unless they attend a four-year college

Requiring graduates to stay in Forsyth County will have many benefits for the county. This will allow the economic development to grow and also allow students to stay with their community after the first few years fresh out of college.

Regional BB&T executive, Canty Alexander said that he is excited for this program and he hopes that it will reduce poverty rates in the area. He also mentions that this program would not have been made possible without Kelly King, BB&T chairman and chief executive who came up with the idea with the mindset of tackling the poverty rates in the area.

Forsyth Tech President Janet Spriggs said that the program’s value is to act as a “last dollar” grant that will come into play after students have applied for other financial scholarships. Spriggs knows that this scholarship can really benefit struggling students who are wanting an education. 

“This investment will open new doors of hope and opportunity for students who need it the most,” Spriggs told those who assembled at Forsyth Tech to hear the announcement. “Think how many more students will be able to achieve their dreams, thanks to this investment.”