ATHENS, W.Va. –
A new scholarship for Concord University students honors the memory of a special child whose short life has inspired countless individuals and continues to give hope to many.
The Jonathan Powell Scholarship has been established by the Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation and Tim and Melissa Powell of Princeton, W.Va. in memory of the Powell's son, Jonathan Powell. Jonathan lost a courageous battle with Neuroblastoma in October 2002 when he was four years old.
Knowing firsthand the challenges faced by families with a child battling cancer, Tim and Melissa set up the foundation in Jonathan’s name to aid families struggling financially as they care for their loved ones.
In the spirit of the foundation’s work, the new scholarship at Concord is dedicated to assisting childhood cancer survivors, or parents or siblings of a childhood cancer survivor or cancer victim financially as they pursue a college degree.
“We met families who suffered extreme financial loss, and we believe that no family should ever experience financial devastation because of their fight against childhood cancer,” Melissa says. “What we’ve learned is that when a child gets cancer, the entire family gets cancer. There is not one person in that family not affected.”
Melissa, who is a Concord alumna, says she and Tim have considered establishing a scholarship for some time as a way to honor and remember their son and his strength and courage.
“One of our biggest fears is that our friends and family will forget our child…this is a way for Jonathan and his journey to be remembered and to help others who have gone through this and come out on the other side,” she says. “Because of his fight, we are in a position to help others who have been there go to Concord University.”
Melissa says she is eager to see how recipients of the Jonathan Powell Scholarship will make their mark on the world.
“What will these kids be able to do because of this scholarship?” she wonders. “Maybe they’ll major in biology and become a childhood oncologist, and maybe they’ll make an impact on childhood cancer because we were able to provide this support.”
“The Powells have spent nearly two decades helping families in Jonathan’s name. With this scholarship his legacy will continue indefinitely,” stated Alicia Suka Besenyei, Vice President for Advancement.
“We are so fortunate to have people, like the Powells and the individuals who serve on the Jonathan Powell Hope Foundation board, who care so deeply about our students,” she said.
To be eligible to receive the Jonathan Powell Scholarship, a student must show evidence of academic promise and academic achievement. Guidelines for this scholarship state that it may be awarded to more than one student per year, and that the award is renewable for up to eight consecutive fall and spring semesters. The Concord University Foundation is administering the scholarship.
Concord students interested in applying for the Jonathan Powell Scholarship may go to www.concord.edu/jonathanpowell
For additional information on the Jonathan Powell Scholarship or to contribute to this important new fund, please contact the Concord University Foundation at foundation @concord.edu or 304-384-6316.