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5 RPS elementary school student awarded full scholarships to attend VUU

Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 11:13 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - When the time comes, five Oak Grove-Bellemeade Elementary students will no longer have to worry about college plans after they were awarded full academic scholarships to Virginia Union University.

”We are so grateful for the continued partnership and generosity of Virginia Union University,” said RPS Superintendent Jason Kamras. “VUU has stepped up in an entirely unique way for RPS, first by providing 50 full academic scholarships to then-8th grade students (now finishing 10th grade), and now by showing a clear commitment to continue these types of efforts.”

One year at VUU costs approximately $13,500. The total cost for all the recipients to attend all four years at VUU is roughly $216,000.

The following fifth-graders were awarded the scholarships:

  • Dayyon Greene
  • Melody Morgan
  • Rachael Parra-Lara
  • Lamar Turner
  • Abraham Valencia-Sales

“I am excited to be here to offer five full-tuition scholarships,” said VUU Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management, Keisha Pope. “It is our honor to provide access and affordability to higher education for our students.”

Bellmeade’s principal, James Gordon III, says the students were selected by their teachers for the scholarships based on the following criteria: Academics, attendance, and attitude, making them among the school’s most promising students.

“It feels great and amazing to get this opportunity,” said Melody. “Every time we work hard, we always do the best work.”

“I would also like to give a shoutout to all my teachers that have taught me from when I was young until now,” said Dayyon.

Kamras says the school system will be supporting these students through every part of their educational journey, with leadership programs and other academic resources to ensure their success before entering college.

“We are here for you every step of the way... through Virginia Union and every day after that,” Kamras said.

“I worked very hard since the day I got to Oak Grove-Bellemeade,” said Lamar. “My future is really set and it means a lot.”

“Virginia Union University has a longstanding commitment to creating a pipeline of opportunity that allows students to get excited about their future,” said Dr. Hakim Lucas, President and CEO of Virginia Union University. “We believe education is the key to building generational wealth in our communities, and we are honored to be a partner with Richmond Public School to create this opportunity for these students.”

Copyright 2021 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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