Every year, the Wyoming County Community Fund and Scholarship program presents a scholarship to a local high school student or adult pursuing higher education and career certifications.
In 2020, that award winner was Erin Harrison, a then-senior at Westside High School. Following graduation, Erin enrolled in Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College’s (SWVCTC) Respiratory Care Technology program.
As a scholarship recipient, Erin received $2,500 over two semesters to assist with tuition costs, career-related equipment, textbooks, commuting, and other educational expenses. Erin said the award significantly impacted her overall experience.
“This scholarship helped me feel secure with things outside of tuition, like books and these extra certifications I had to have,” Harrison said. “Having something for tuition, books, or even gas helps so much more than you would imagine.”
With support from the scholarship, Harrison said she was able to purchase a new laptop.
“Almost no one has hundreds of dollars to drop on a laptop, so I was thankful I had something extra,” she said.
This May, Harrison will graduate from SWVCTC with a degree in Respiratory Care Technology. After passing her state board exams, Harrison will begin her career as a Respiratory Therapist with Beckley Appalachian Regional Healthcare.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity,” Harrison said. “I may be continuing my education in a year or two to get my bachelors in hopes to enter in a program that will train me in critical care.”
Knowing firsthand the difference a scholarship can make, Harrison encourages others seeking continued education and certifications to apply for the WCCF scholarship.
“Any scholarship that you can get will help, but I felt like this committee worked with me and kept in touch to make sure everything was running smoothly for me,” Harrison said. “I appreciated that.”
The annual WCCF scholarship contest is receiving applications through April 13. The WCCF committee encourages any Wyoming County resident that plans to attend the Wyoming County Career and Technical Center or the Wyoming County campus of Southern WV Community and Technical College to apply for consideration.
For more information on scholarship rules and eligibility, view more details here.