Virginia college access organization receives $25K grant from Dominion Resources

newspaperThanks to a $25,000 grant from Dominion Resources, GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc. (GRASP), a college access organization, can now provide even more financial aid services to students in the Virginia counties of Augusta, Highland and Nelson.

Bettsy Heggie, GRASP CEO, expressed her gratitude for the grant. “GRASP is grateful for the fantastic support Dominion has provided over the years.  This particular grant will help ensure that students in the western areas of Virginia served by GRASP will continue to receive the financial aid assistance necessary to embark on their postsecondary education goals,” she said.

GRASP, a Virginia non-profit, implements its services via advisors who provide free, confidential, one-on-one counseling to students seeking financial aid and scholarships for continuing education after high school – whether that is technical school, community college or a four-year university.

“We are honored to partner with GRASP on this important initiative that supports students who might not otherwise have the resources to follow their dreams,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. The Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, parent company of Dominion Virginia Power.

GRASP advisors now serve students and families in 75 Virginia schools, from the greater Richmond area, to Highland County in the west, to Lancaster County in the east, and to Sussex County in the south.  The highly trained, GRASP advisors are adept at navigating the maze of the college and post-secondary education financial aid process.  They also have a passion for helping today’s youth grasp infinite opportunities.

During the 2013-2014 academic year, GRASP advisors met with more than 500 students individually in the counties of Augusta, Highland, and Nelson, helping them with a game plan for education after high school.  Additionally, GRASP awarded 16 Last Dollar scholarships totaling $16,000 to students in those counties, providing additional financial assistance toward their educational goals.

GRASP was co-founded in 1983 by Senator Walter Stosch and Dr. Ray Gargiulo.  GRASP advisors work one day per week at each school.  Appointments, which are free of charge, can be made through the schools’ counseling offices.  More information about GRASP is available at the website, www.grasp4va.org.

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