CFVI Awards $312,750 in Scholarships to 224 Virgin Islands Students

2020 awards represent largest group of scholarships recipients and second largest amount of scholarship funds distributed in Foundation’s 30-year history

October 20, 2020 – In an effort to provide support and encouragement to Virgin Islands students in their pursuit of higher education and achieving their educational goals, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) has awarded $312,750 in scholarship awards and grants to 224 Virgin Islands students, eclipsing last year’s amount of $205,000 for 87 students. 

A CFVI scholarship recipient accepts her award at the 2017 ceremony. Photo credit: Jazmin Isabel

Marie ThomasGriffith, Chair of CFVI’s Scholarship Committee and member of the CFVI Board of Directors, explained, “At CFVI, we are committed to our efforts to increase the level of support available for talented and dedicated Virgin Islands students.” 

 Mindful of the impact the pandemic is having on the lives of Virgin Islands students and their parents in preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, the Foundation conducted outreach to students to determine their most pressing needs for assistance. Students who received scholarships are using the funding for the acquisition of technology needed for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as tuition, fees, books, and other supplies required for courses at their college or university.

Thanks to a generous donation from Heavy Materials, LLC, CFVI was able to make grants of $1,250 to 191 eligible undergraduate CFVI scholarship applicants and $1,500 to 33 graduate applicants (view the full list of recipients here). 

“All of us at Heavy Materials wish to congratulate this year’s group of scholarship recipients,” said Eben Sutton, VP of Heavy Materials, LLC. “We were honored to be able to provide this donation in support of such a worthy cause — the educational endeavors of our next generation of leaders from the U.S. Virgin Islands,” he said.   

In addition to the $288,250 provided by Heavy Materials, LLC, CFVI provided an additional $24,500 to students who were awarded the following scholarships: 

  • Coral World Scholarship ($3,500) – DaRe’one Christopher
  • Estelle Parrott Scholarship ($1,000) – George Francis II
  • Isaac and Rebecca Paiewonsky Scholarships ($2,000 each) – Monae Edmead, Kaija Edwards, Diamond Lewis, Gwendeline Pimentel 
  • Judy and Scott Barber Family Scholarship ($2,500) – Nouzie Aubin
  • Prior Family Foundation Performing Arts Scholarship ($800 each) – Ella Barr, Jeremy Bellott, Hezekiah George, Keshawn Hardy, Nayelia O’Shaughnessy 
  • Theodore E. Sharp Scholarship ($2,000) – Liliana Martinez
  • Universal Business Supplies Scholarship ($2,500) – Takia Joseph
  • Whitley E.A. Williams Scholarship ($1,000) – Deon St. Jules
Scholarship recipients at the 2017 ceremony and reception. Photo credit: Jazmin Isabel

“It’s because of the generous philanthropy of CFVI donors that the Foundation has supported the educational goals of Virgin Islands students since 1996. This year’s students will use their financial support to attend schools such as Harvard, Temple, Emory, Penn State, Georgia Tech, Howard, Boston University, Berklee College of Music, Culinary Institute of America, The George Washington University, University of North Carolina, and the University of the Virgin Islands, among many others,” said CFVI President Dee Baecher-Brown.

“Words cannot express how truly grateful I am to receive this scholarship,” said De’Umee Liburd, a senior at Jacksonville University double majoring in Accounting and Finance, who plans to become a CPA and entrepreneur. “With this contribution I can begin purchasing books and other study materials necessary for my final year and the CPA test prep. This is a blessing that will not be in vain and it is and forever will be appreciated,” she said. 

If your family, organization, or business is interested in providing scholarships next year, please consider establishing a scholarship fund at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands. The scholarship application, review, and award process is managed by the Foundation. All you need to do is name your fund and begin fundraising for 2021! 

Because of CFVI Angel donors, scholarship funds at CFVI are able to operate without any administrative fees. Angels make annual gifts of $500 or more to the Foundation. Thanks to CFVI Angels, 100% of scholarship funds will continue to benefit students’ academic commitments.