Schol­ar­ships are ‘trans­form­ing lives, one at a time’

CSM foun­da­tion hosts an­nual award event for stu­dents

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The Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land re­cently held its an­nual Foun­da­tion Schol­ar­ship Re­cep­tion luncheon, in which schol­ar­ship donors meet with their re­cip­i­ents and share their com­mit­ment to ed­u­ca­tion.

“To­day is about rec­og­niz­ing you, our part­ners … and we honor you who be­lieve in the mis­sion of the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land and share in the vi­sion to trans­form lives, one at a time,” CSM Foun­da­tion Chair Nancy Hemp­stead told the packed room of schol­ar­ship sup­port­ers, ac­cord­ing to a re­lease from the col­lege. The CSM Foun­da­tion is the fundrais­ing and friend rais­ing arm of the col­lege, with a board com­posed of all vol­un­teers rais­ing money for stu­dents and CSM.

“For our stu­dents,” she con­tin­ued, “the schol­ar­ships they have re­ceived as a re­sult of your gen­eros­ity is be­yond what even we can de­scribe. Each of their sto­ries is per­sonal and unique to their sit­u­a­tion, but what they share in com­mon is heart­felt grat­i­tude for how you are mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in their lives.”

Multi-schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ent and La Plata High School grad­u­ate Daw­son Jew­ell of Char­lotte Hall agreed.

“As I be­gin my sec­ond year as a stu­dent at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land, I am be­yond grate­ful for the gen­eros­ity of so many peo­ple who help stu­dents like my­self be able to pur­sue our dreams for col­lege and our ca­reers,” said Jew­ell. “I want a ca­reer where I can help peo­ple and make a last­ing im­pact, and so my long-term goal is to com­plete my de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice and be­come a po­lice of­fi­cer. I am al­ready a cadet for the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, and be­ing around po­lice of­fi­cers spurs me on to take the ap­pro­pri­ate steps to achieve my goal.”

Jew­ell is also a stu­dent ath­lete at CSM as a mem­ber of the men’s lacrosse team and he is a re­cip­i­ent of the Ad­junct Fac­ulty En­dowed Schol­ar­ship, the Mary I. Shasho Me­mo­rial An­nual Schol­ar­ship, the Neale Chaney Slater Me­mo­rial En­dowed Schol­ar­ship and the Salome A. Howard Bar As­so­ci­a­tion, Inc. Schol­ar­ship.

“It is very re­ward­ing to be able to meet our schol­ar­ship donors and per­son­ally tell them, face-to-face, what their award means to us in­di­vid­u­ally,” Jew­ell told the au­di­ence. “I’m sure I speak for the other schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents join­ing us to­day when I say that hav­ing oth­ers to be­lieve in us and pro­vide fi­nan­cial sup­port makes a world of dif­fer­ence in boost­ing our con­fi­dence and op­ti­mism. So, thank you for be­liev­ing in our fu­ture.”

“It is great to meet these re­cip­i­ents each year,” shared Chaney En­ter­prises CEO Frank Chaney dur­ing the re­cep­tion. Chaney es­tab­lished the Chaney En­dowed Schol­ar­ship for Sus­tain­able Land Use and the Chaney Schol­ar­ship for Work­force De­vel­op­ment, and awarded this se­mes­ter to eight stu­dents pur­su­ing ca­reers in en­vi­ron­men­tal stud­ies, con­struc­tion, agri­cul­ture, en­gi­neer­ing, trans­porta­tion, real es­tate and/or farm­ing.

Chap­tico res­i­dent Stephen Val­land­ing­ham is an ex­am­ple of one of those stu­dents be­ing of­fered po­ten­tial em­ploy­ment. A vol­un­teer with the St. Mary’s County Ad­vanced Life Sup­port, Sev­enth Dis­trict Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment and Sev­enth Dis­trict Vol­un­teer Res­cue Squad, Val­land­ing­ham is cur­rently pur­su­ing his EMS para­medic cer­tifi­cate at CSM thanks to the Pad­dle for He­roes Schol­ar­ship from the Leonard­town Ro­tary Club.

The fact that he is al­ready em­ployed as a fed­eral fire­fighter at Naval Air Sta­tion Patux­ent River isn’t stop­ping the job of­fers. He shared dur­ing the schol­ar­ship re­cep­tion that he has re­ceived in­ter­est from other de­part­ments who are look­ing to hire fire­fight­ers who are also cer­ti­fied as paramedics.

“This schol­ar­ship is in­valu­able to me,” he said. “With my job, fam­ily, kids and vol­un­teer­ing, it can be over­whelm­ing and this schol­ar­ship helps my fam­ily more than I can ex­plain.”

Val­land­ing­ham’s wife, Brit­tany, is also en­rolled at CSM as a nurs­ing stu­dent. She is a re­cip­i­ent of the John and Mary Anne Harms En­dowed Schol­ar­ship which was es­tab­lished by Mary Anne Harms in sup­port of stu­dents who re­side in South­ern Mary­land.

Both Brit­tany and Stephen Val­land­ing­ham also earned fi­nan­cial sup­port through St. Mary’s County Gov­ern­ment’s An­nual Schol­ar­ship this year. Es­tab­lished in 2005 by the St. Mary’s County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers, the county’s an­nual schol­ar­ships sup­port stu­dents who re­side in St. Mary’s County. Brit­tany is on track to grad­u­ate from CSM in spring 2019 and Stephen is on track to fol­low with his para­medic cer­tifi­cate in fall 2019.

“I can’t say enough about the in­struc­tors at CSM,” Stephen Val­land­ing­ham said. “Peo­ple thank Brit­tany and me for be­ing out in the com­mu­nity mak­ing a dif­fer­ence ev­ery day, but the fact is our CSM in­struc­tors are the rea­son we’re both able to do what we do.

“We owe the Leonard­town Ro­tary Club and the CSM Foun­da­tion a great deal for help­ing us achieve our dreams and help­ing us give back to our com­mu­ni­ties,” he added.

CSM Pres­i­dent Mau­reen Mur­phy ad­dressed the re­cep­tion at­ten­dees and joined in the cho­rus of grat­i­tude. “You have cho­sen to part­ner with the CSM Foun­da­tion and in­vest in keep­ing higher ed­u­ca­tion af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble; which in turn en­hances the health and wel­fare of our lo­cal econ­omy,” she said.

For a com­plete list of schol­ar­ship win­ners, visit www. somd­news.com/en­ter­prise.

SUB­MIT­TED PHO­TOS

Re­cip­i­ents of the St. Mary’s County Gov­ern­ment An­nual Schol­ar­ship pose with St. Mary’s school board mem­bers Mary Wash­ing­ton, left, and Jim Davis, right, to of­fer thanks to county of­fi­cials, who es­tab­lished the fi­nan­cial sup­port in 2005 for stu­dents who re­side in St. Mary’s.

Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land stu­dent Daw­son Jew­ell of Char­lotte Hall, who re­ceived mul­ti­ple schol­ar­ships to at­tend CSM, speaks to at­ten­dees at the an­nual donor luncheon at the Col­lege of South­ern Mary­land.

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