An MCEF Scholarship Helps Launch
An Amazing Journey of Self-Discovery
Read Jenny Zhang’s story—
April 22, 2018
Dear Friends of the Madison County Education Foundation,
How time has flown! Around this time last year, I was applying for this scholarship, eagerly hoping I could be a recipient. Now, almost a year later, I am finishing up classes and preparing for my finals. They say ‘time flies when you’re having fun’ and I cannot agree more. I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year at the University of Virginia and am constantly amazed that I only have a few short weeks until this school year comes to an end.
This academic year hasn’t always been as smooth as I anticipated. Prior to starting my first semester at college, I naively thought everything would come easy as it did in high school. What I realized quickly was how much more challenging classes were than I initially thought, and I quickly realized I needed to adjust my study habits to accommodate to how college operated. During my first semester, I found myself stressing so much because of my lack of skill in managing my time wisely.
To me, that first semester served as a representation of growth and discovery. I learned so much about myself in those first few months, and I grew tremendously from improving and bettering myself. Those first few weeks in college, I had so much free time on my hands and I was not managing it wisely. I quickly learned to change my schedule to study and work on assignments more. Once I realized and adapted, college became a lot easier for me! Now that I have a better understanding of how college operates. I have a better strategy for studying and am performing the way I want. I truly enjoy all my classes—I have taken, and still am taking a large array of classes that are of interest to me! College has allowed me to have an opportunity to experiment and explore what my interests are and aren’t. Additionally, I have formed strong relationships with my professors and feel so much more comfortable speaking to them about things pertaining to their course, as well as other interesting topics!
Additionally, I have grown as a person by associating myself with people I have similar interests with. Immediately entering college, I found a group of wonderful friends who all have their passions, which they exude. I have also immersed myself in different clubs and organizations I’m passionate about, ranging from a club sport team at UVA to volunteering organizations. The friends I have met through these organizations have all have helped to shape me into a better person and I learn so much from them!
Thank you for believing in me and investing in my academic success with this scholarship! Receiving a great education at this wonderful university is an enormous privilege that I never take for granted, and little moments throughout my day remind me of how grateful I am! I am eager for what the future holds for me. I am excited to finish this semester and begin my second year in the fall!
Think back. Getting to college is one of “life’s next steps.”
Last spring, 2017, the Madison County Education Foundation awarded NINE scholarships to deserving Madison High School seniors. They helped students take the next BIG step.
Mikayla Gardiner-Alger, a 2017 scholarship winner, wrote the Foundation a letter with these key points:
“I am writing not only to thank the Madison County Education Foundation for the scholarship they offered me in the 2017-18 school year, but to thank the foundation for the windows of opportunity it gave me. The money enabled me to attend college at an affordable cost.
“Being a college student means I am able to expand my educational and career goals. Attending college is a privilege that many cannot afford. Federal financial aid exists to those who appear to need it most and Pell grants are issued. However, since a Pell grant only totals about $5800, and many colleges cost more than that annually, college is still unaffordable. Colleges offer their own financial aid, but rarely is it enough to keep the student from going into debt.
“The support of groups like the Education Foundation is extremely important. It maintains an educated society and gives deserving individuals the opportunity to meet their full potential. Not only does this support give students a better chance of attending an affordable college, it supports the community by helping the education level in the county rise. Students, like myself, who strive for excellence in school, but come from a low-income family that cannot afford college costs, greatly benefit from local donors who offer scholarships.
“I’d like to thank MCEF and all who made contributions that make these scholarships possible.”
Business Administration student
Germanna Community College
The Pell Public Speaking Competition
The Madison County Education Foundation hosted the Pell Public Speaking Competition on January 25 in the Madison High School Auditorium. The number of entrants—15 in all—was the largest number of student participants ever engaged in this competition.
The first-place winner, Michael Broyles, delivered Harold Ickes’s speech, “What constitutes an American?” Broyles was awarded a cash prize of $700. The second prize was awarded to Ben Butterworth, who delivered Winston Churchill’s speech, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” and was awarded $500. Molly Thomas delivered Nellie McClung’s speech, “Should Men Vote?” She was awarded third prize of $300.
Kevin Nguyen and Eli Priest both gave strong presentations of Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall.” Steven Franklin reprised Martin Luther King’s inspirational, “I’ve Been to the Mountain” address; the speaker was featured at the Martin Luther King Commemoration at the Culpeper NAACP.
Hailey Helm delivered stirring words of Clara Barton’s “Women’s Suffrage Speech,” and Caleb Mayer shared Theodore Roosevelt’s understanding of “Strength and Decency.” Kathy Dyer spoke on “George Washington,” and Maya Powell delivered Hillary Clinton’s “United Nations Women Plenary Session Remarks.”
Samuel Decowski gave renewed energy to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Hannah Gessler showed us Susan B. Anthony’s position in “Women’s Right to Suffrage.” David Miller offered an interpretation of “What Constitutes an American.”
The time-span of these speeches captured one historical landmark after another. Kaitlyn Adams gave John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Drake Truman delivered Richard Nixon’s “Farewell Address.
Is public speaking your thing? Have an interest in history? Combine those two and come to the Pell Public Speaking Competition! This contest is open to all MCHS students. Participants will be giving a 5-minute, memorized, historical speech. First place will be receiving $700, and second and third places receiving $500 and $300 respectively.
It’s easy to find historical speeches. Ask your librarian, Google “historical speeches,” check your history books, or Google any subject + speeches to begin your search. Baseball fan? How about Lou Gehrig’s “Good-bye to Baseball” speech? Just Google “baseball speeches.” Are you a Civil War buff? Just Google “Civil War speeches.” It’s amazing how many historical speeches there are.
If the written speech is too long, you many edit it down to five minutes as long you use the writer’s words and keep the speaker’s meaning and intention. When giving the speech, be sure to show the audience the heart-felt emotions of the writer.
Please join us on January 25th at 6:00 to watch these amazing students. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, please see any MCHS English teacher or call Lynn Young at 540-948-6989.
MCEF wants to support teachers like you!
Applications Accepted for Spring Teacher Grants
We have had quite a few applications from the Primary School (Middle School, High School, Elementary School) over the past several years. It is a tradition we want to continue. The good news is that these applications have been strong and the teachers have been successful in obtaining grants from the Madison County Education Foundation.
Success is contagious. Make it your turn next. PLEASE go to the MCEF website www.madisonedfoundation.org for application directions and criteria. Send your grant application electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 9, 2018. Grant winners will be announced by January 23, 2018.
Grants generally total between $500 and $1000 and can often be matched with school funds.
For questions, please call or email Jayne Penn-Hollar, chair, any members of the Grants Resource Team:
- Ashleigh Pugh email@example.com;
- Rebecca LaVoie firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Tiffany Kitner email@example.com;
- Nicole Keys firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Jennifer Taylor email@example.com;
- Martha Clements firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Marty Ward email@example.com
For general information or questions, call Barbara Kres Beach (540-948-5317) or firstname.lastname@example.org.