Nexus Services announces Shenandoah Valley scholarship winners

newspaperNexus Services, Inc. and its subsidiary Libre by Nexus, announced today that they have awarded $350,000 in college scholarships to three Shenandoah Valley students who were among a competitive pool of over 50 applicants that participated in the company’s second annual scholarship program.

The Libre Scholarship, which covers 100% of costs tuition, books, and housing costs in addition to a stipend for four years at any college or university, was awarded to Madison Phillips of Stuarts Draft High School. Jordan Shuff of East Rockingham High School and Matthew Knick of Wilson High School.

Each were awarded the Nexus Achiever Scholarship which applies $10,000 toward the students’ freshman year at any college or university.

Since 2015, Nexus Services, Inc. and Libre by Nexus have awarded $700,000 in scholarship aid to local students from Harrisonburg, Augusta County, and Rockingham County. Nexus Services, Inc. CEO Mike Donovan said, “In addition to continuing our scholarship programs for Valley students, we plan to expand our scholarship program next year and in coming years to serve the communities across the United States where Nexus offices are located.”

“We are incredibly impressed by the caliber of all our applicants and the thoughtfulness with which they addressed complex public policy issues in their essays,” said Giancarlo Sopo, Director of Communications for Nexus Services, Inc. Sopo added, “Madison, Jordan, and Matthew embody the very best that our community has to offer and we are proud to support them in their academic endeavors.”

The 2016 Nexus Services scholarship program was available to graduating seniors from Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and Augusta County with minimum GPAs of 2.5 who planned to begin college full-time in the 2016-17 academic year. Among the scholarship’s requirements was that each student had to write an essay on how the country’s money bail bond system could be reformed.

The three local students offered lucid and compelling arguments in their scholarship applications. “The money bail system in the United States is a list of broken and scattered procedures, forcing many into paying heavily for something they didn’t do,” said Madison Phillips, a high school senior who is undecided between George Mason University and Virginia Tech and is interested in studying either history or English, in the opening paragraph of her essay. Adding, “The idea of money bail is sound, but it warrants major reforms to be a just system.”

Jordan Shuff, who will attend the University of Delaware where she will study biomedical engineering, noted that money bail “puts a strain on both the nation and the individual defendant that renders it an unsuccessful method for ensuring appearance in court.”

Meanwhile, Matthew Knick, who will be a freshman at James Madison University in the fall and aspires to go to medical school, argued that “the use of trackers can be a useful tool to not only strike a compromise between the opposing views of bail, but also help the state fulfill the constitutional idea that all citizens are innocent until proven guilty.”

Sopo said, “Our scholarship program is just one way that Nexus Services, Inc. works to improve the lives of local families. Our company’s mission is rooted in building strong communities, creating opportunities, and helping people achieve their full potential. We look forward to renewing and growing our scholarship program next year.”

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