Great Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc. (GRASP), a non-profit, college and career access organization, headquartered in Glen Allen, recently awarded 105 Last Dollar scholarships totaling $106,945 and 61 Community College Pathway scholarships totaling $59,000 to Virginia high school students graduating in 2020. GRASP also awarded 79 College Success scholarships totaling $116,100 to college students participating in the GRASP’s College Success program.
GRASP’s goal is to ensure that every student has an equal opportunity for continuing education after high school, regardless of financial or social circumstances. During the 2019-2020 academic year, GRASP implemented its programs via advisors who provide free, confidential, one-on-one counseling in 87 Virginia high schools 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. GRASP advisors now serve students and families in Virginia schools, from the greater Richmond area, to Highland County in the west, to Lancaster County in the east, and to Mecklenburg 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 expanding students’ opportunities to learn. GRASP advisors typically assist more than 8,000 students and their families, individually, in developing post-secondary education game plans each year.
The GRASP advising program and scholarships are made possible by generous donor support year after year. Last Dollar scholarships are awarded to at least one student at each school GRASP serves. The Community College Pathway scholarships are awarded to students who plan to attend community college to receive a career certificate or transfer to a four-year college. The College Success scholarships are awarded to students who are participating in the GRASP College Success program which provides support for GRASP students currently attending college.
GRASP salutes the 2020 scholarship recipients. Many of this year’s scholarship recipients will be the first members of their families to attend post-secondary education. All have learned about the importance of continuing their education as the next step for their future successes.
This year, due to limitations as a result of COVID-19, GRASP will present “GRASP Scholarship Recipient” yard signs to students at their homes in lieu of the celebratory luncheons typically held in six regions of the state where we provide our GRASP services.
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.