Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA (SPSF NWA) hosted the annual Pathway to Prosperity Endowed Scholarship Brunch on Saturday, March 30th at the Fayetteville Country Club. Forty-five named endowed scholarships were awarded to exemplary students in the SPSF NWA program. The families and businesses who established the named endowed scholarships were recognized and provided the opportunity to become acquainted with their chosen recipient. Six inaugural endowed scholarships were awarded, including The Dick Forsythe Endowed Single Parent Scholarship, The Garrison Asset Management Endowed Single Parent Scholarship, The Frank Johnson Endowed Single Parent Scholarship, The Sandra K. Martin Endowed Single Parent Scholarship, The Dennis and Evelyn Shaw Endowed Single Parent Scholarship, and The Whitaker Family Foundation Endowed Single Parent Scholarship. Endowed Scholarship recipients are selected based upon the criteria set by the family or business. All recipients are low-income, single parents who are pursuing higher education as his/her family’s pathway out of poverty.
Melissa Hall from KNWA/ Fox 24 served as emcee. Heather Schneider, a seven-time current scholarship recipient and student of the University of Arkansas was a featured speaker. Heather shared her journey as a traumatic brain injury survivor and soon-to-be University of Arkansas graduate:
“Attending school has taught me the confidence I need to succeed. Interviewers at Single Parent Scholarship Fund have witnessed the progress I have made over the years. I am now able to speak with confidence, my processing of information is quicker, I am able to hold onto new memories “in this life,” and if I do not know or understand something I have many ways that I have learned to shadow the moment where someone would not realize that I am a reborn adult or I have resources to help me find an answer to something I do not know or understand. I am extremely thankful for the opportunity and financial help that Single Parent Scholarship Fund has provided. Every person that I have reached out to in this organization has helped me tremendously and has seen how I’ve grown over the years.”
Heather also shared with those in attendance that she has recently accepted a job as a horticulturist with the City of Springdale Public Works department.
Tyler B. Clark, Executive Director, shared exciting news about 2019 marking the organization’s 35th anniversary. Clark shared the humble beginnings of the organization:
“It all began in 1984- with support from generous individuals and businesses in the community who believed in the impact and potential of this work. The Founders proudly awarded $300 scholarships to eight students in the inaugural semester of service. Since, Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA has now awarded $6.5 million dollars in scholarships to 9,500 brave and fiercely determined single mom and dads.”
Clark also spoke of the extended services offered to recipients. A learning coach and a licensed behavioral counselor are available to help with recipients’ success both in and out of the classroom.
Single Parent Scholarship Fund of NWA completed the Pathway to Prosperity Endowment Campaign in 2016 which increased its endowment to over $3 million. Income from the endowment sustains the scholarship program by providing 1/3 of the annual scholarship budget. Larger gifts to the campaign were directed to establish an endowed scholarship or endow a program in the name of a family or business.
To see more photos from the Pathway to Prosperity brunch check out our Facebook Album: https://www.facebook.com/pg/SPSFNWA/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2122687034466992