The idea of going to college was just a dream for Bridget Browning before she learned she’d been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Wyoming County Community Fund’s scholarship.
“I knew that this was my chance to enroll and make it happen,” Browning said.
The $2,500 WCCF scholarship, awarded to one Wyoming County resident per year, helped Browning purchase necessary supplies for her classes, like textbooks, lab gear and a scientific calculator. The then 40-year-old had applied through the Wyoming County Economic Development Authority’s office.
“I was nominated to join the National Society of Leadership and Success, so I was able to pay for my dues out of the scholarship funding as well,” Browning said. “I used the remaining funds towards the purchase of a personal laptop, which gave me the ability to study on and off campus.”
Prior to the start of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the WCCF hosted an annual Bingo event to help raise funds for the coming year’s scholarship. Though the 2020 event was canceled in October, the community’s support for the scholarship program never wavered.
This year, the WCCF is hosting a new type of fundraiser: a cash calendar, which randomly selects a winning ticket each month, starting on April 1 for Easter and continuing on holidays throughout the rest of the year for a total of 12 drawings.
For Browning, knowing that her Wyoming County community had contributed to the scholarship that made her educational pursuits possible made the experience even more meaningful.
“I love the fact that it supports Wyoming County residents of any age,” Browning said. “I also love that it supports our own local community college. Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College offers a wide variety of degrees that will provide opportunity in today’s job market not attainable without a college degree.”
Browning encouraged other Wyoming County residents to apply for the scholarship, especially those pursuing programs at Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College.
This spring, Browning will receive her Associate of Science degree from SWVCTC. She plans to transfer to the West Virginia University Institute of Technology.
“I will be working on my bachelor’s degree in biology in hopes of pursuing a medical degree,” Browning added.
Tickets for the Wyoming County Community Fund’s 2021 cash calendar fundraiser may be purchased for $25 each online, by phone, in-person at the Wyoming County EDA office at 506A River Road, Pineville, WV, or by mail. Mail should be addressed to:
The Wyoming County Community Fund’s one-time $2,500 grant assists eligible Wyoming County residents in their academic pursuits, including: students attending high school in Wyoming County; Wyoming County students enrolled at Wyoming County Career & Technical Center or the McDowell and Wyoming County Campuses of Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College; adults returning to school; and those who possess ABE Certificates.
To be considered for this scholarship, students must attend or plan to attend Wyoming County Career & Technical Center or Southern West Virginia Community & Technical College’s Wyoming and McDowell County campuses. Funds will be distributed in two increments at the start of the Fall 2021 semester and the Spring 2022 semester.
The WCCF scholarship is just one of the many funds making long-lasting positive changes in the Wyoming County community. Donations may also be directed to supporting the arts, local cemetery upkeeps, children’s funds and elsewhere. To support the WCCF, contact Christy Laxton at firstname.lastname@example.org.