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EARLY YEARS: Scholarship fund helps kids at Boys & Girls Club reach their potential

Montgomery County senior is the first winner of the Jim Barker Educational Scholarship fund.
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:26 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - All year round, the Boys and Girls Club of Southwest Virginia offers a safe place to play, learn and develop positive character traits.

Now you can add scholarship source to that list!

Thanks to a donation, the club raised over $100,000 dollars to fully endow a scholarship fund.

“Use it not just for college, but for training or any kind of certificate or anything that they’re looking to do post-high school graduation. The goal is that these kids have a plan for the future, says Michelle Davis, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Southwest Virginia.

Eastern Montgomery High school senior and club kid Jack Graves is the first recipient of the Jim Barker Educational Scholarship fund.

The $3,900 scholarship will help Jack with his education at the College of William and Mary.

The fund is named after Jim Barker, who himself grew up as a Boys & Girls Club Kid in Bristol.

“His mom put him in boys and girls club after his father passed away, when he was really young, in order to protect her investment,” Davis says.

Davis says the goal is to keep growing the scholarship fund to a million dollars in 10 years, for even bigger awards for students.

“By the time we get to that point, we could be potentially giving out 39 thousand dollars in scholarships, just to Boys and Girls club kids every single year, says Davis.

The scholarship assures club kids and their families, that after success in school, there’s help to reach that next step.

“But then you’ll have the financial wherewithall, the resources you need to continue your education after you’ve left boys and girls club, and after you’ve left high school,” says Davis.

Click here, if you’d like to learn more about the fund.

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