Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas leaders and backers gathered outside the nonprofit organization's offices in Fayetteville to congratulate more than 20 2021 graduating scholarship recipients with a drive-through event. Graduates and their families at the socially distanced celebration were treated to cakes, gifts from the organization and giveaways from donors and sponsors. This year's graduates earned: associate (8); bachelor's (10); and master's (1) degrees; certification in cosmetology; and technical certification in practical nursing (1).
"Because of the continuous support of our generous donors, board members and members of SPSF NWA's Community Leadership Council, these successful students will now be self-supporting members of the community. More importantly, these parents will soon be able to provide for their children and, through their example, teach them the value of higher education, "says Tyler Clark, executive director.
Founded in 1984, Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas (SPSF NWA) "creates a network of support that empowers determined single-parent families through access to education in Carroll, Madison, and Washington Counties. A community-supported effort, the program is designed to end poverty and create generations of prosperity." In 2020, the group awarded more than $399,000 in scholarships to 141 recipients.
The deadline for scholarship applications for fall 2021 scholarships is June 15. The group awards traditional scholarships, "for students seeking an associate, bachelor's, Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.), and licensure in cosmetology or massage therapy at approved institutions" along with healthcare career and vocational education scholarships "for students pursuing healthcare or professional certifications at approved institutions (NWTI, UAMS/Schmieding Center, Petra Allied Health, PRN, North Arkansas College or NWACC) and various courses at the University of Arkansas Global Campus."
Next up, the nonprofit organization will celebrate scholarship recipients and laud community supporters at its Virtual Spark of Hope 2021 benefit set for Aug. 31. All award winners are nominated by scholarship recipients and selected for their commitment to helping drive the success of hard-working single parents. Proceeds from the fundraiser go toward student scholarships. The program will include the presentation of the Spark of Hope Award to outstanding individuals, outstanding corporation and outstanding community partner. Featured speakers will include scholarship alumni and current recipient.
Those gathering to celebrate graduates included Tenessa Wroten, Darrell Annis, Katie Marie Glenn, Jennifer McCool, Jim Ed Summers, Lolly Greenwood, Joy Morris, Stan Rodgers, Kelsey Wood, Creedence Bigheart, Eliott Weber, Elizabeth Boont, Melissa Coleman, LaRenzo Wright, Aamani Coleman, Aaleyiah Coleman, Destiny Draper, Alayna Wade Aubriella Wade, Berenice Monsivais, Bernadette Holt, Steve Holt, Jane Holt and Brian Secrest.
For more event photos -- nwadg.com/photos/society.
Columnist Carin Schoppmeyer can be reached by email at [email protected]
At a Glance
Who: Single Parent Scholarship Fund of Northwest Arkansas
What: Leaders and backers gathered outside to congratulate graduates.
When: May 5
Where: SPSF NWA offices in Fayetteville
Next: Spark of Hope, 6-7 p.m. Aug. 31
Information: (479) 935-4888, @spsfnwa or singleparentscholarshipfundnwa.org.