Education and VRA

providing Grant In Aid scholarships to deserving VRA members and their families, so that they can defray educational costs and further their education

VRA Foundation, a 501C(3) Organization

The mission of the VRA Foundation is to increase excellence in personal living and upward mobility of members of the Virginia Rehabilitation Association through educational assistance as they provide advocacy for the disabled population of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In essence the VRA Foundation provides Grant In Aid scholarships to deserving VRA members and their families, so that they can defray educational costs and further their education. It is a wonderful benefit of your VRA membership.

History of the VRA Foundation

The Virginia Rehabilitation Association created the Grant-in-Aid Program with the establishment of an endowment fund in 1985 with an amount of $1,000. Fund raising began. Contributions continued to enhance the fund until by action of the September 1988 VRA Board the endowment was topped off at $10,000 from VRA general funds. All funds received after that is an addition to the endowment.

VRA Foundation Background

The committee began to administer the program in the academic year of 1988-89 and continued under the direction of the VRA Board until the Foundation was incorporated in 1992. Donations in honor and in memory are accepted for responses to family and friends.

Governance

The Board of Trustees as appointed by the Virginia Rehabilitation Association governs the Foundation. The organization consists of three officers and four additional members who are elected for rotating terms of service.

VRA Foundation Bylaws

Funding

The Board of Trustees is responsible for an annual low key event to solicit the VRA Board and its membership toward increasing the endowment. In 1998, the Foundation Board members were given a financial challenge, which they met. In 1999 and 2000, the Board was given a $500 challenge for the Board and the VRA membership. These challenges were met. The largest major gift to date came in 1999 when the Miss Wheelchair Virginia Pageant decided to forgo the incorporated status and close down. The entire treasury of $2,433.56 was donated to the Foundation. Donations may be made payable to the VRA Foundation at anytime.

Eligibility

Persons eligible to receive aid are VRA members in good standing, a child or spouse of member. Applications and criteria may be obtained from any VRA Foundation Board member.

Foundation Board Members

Dale Batten, Chair
Rob Froehlich, Treasurer
Mark Fletcher, Secretary
Howard Green
Sam Rothrock
Bonnie Henn
Kim Shepard
Altamont Dickerson, Honorary Member


Scholarship Awards

Since its inception in 1987 the Foundation has awarded more than $16,000 in scholarships and this year gave an award to: Tionne Baker.

photo of Tionne Baker
Tionne Baker

Dear Ms. Johnston:
I am writing to express my sincere appreciation to the VRA Education Foundation for selecting me as a recipient of the 2016 VRA Scholarship. I was very excited to learn of my selection for this scholarship and am profoundly grateful of the financial support.
 
I am currently finishing up the course work for a bachelor's in biology on the pre-med track with expectations of being accepted into medical school ultimately becoming a physician. The scholarship will be of great assistance to me in paying for tuition and books this semester.
 
Again, thank you for your generosity and support.
 
Sincerely,
Tionne Baker


photo of Shaquwanda Baker
Shaquwanda Baker

Dear Ms. Gillispie:
I am writing to express my sincere gratitude to the VRA Foundation Board of Directors for making me a recipient of the 2014 VRA Foundation Scholarship. I was thrilled to learn of my selection for this honor and am deeply appreciative of your support.
 
I am currently finishing up the course work for a master's in rehabilitation counseling with hopes of becoming a certified rehabilitation counselor. The scholarship will be of great assistance to me in paying for books this semester.
 
Again, thank you for your generosity and support. I will continue to work hard and eventually give somethign back to others, both as a rehabilitation counselor and possibly a scholarship to future students like myself.
 
Sincerely,
Shaquwanda Baker


photo of Erica Stowe
Erica Stowe

Dear Ms. Gillispie:
I am honored to be chosen again as a recipient of the VRA scholarship award. As you know, funding for graduate school is not easy to come by and I am grateful for the opportunities that the Virginia Rehabilitation Association Education Faoundation provides. I look forward to giving back to the community in the near future. Please share my gratitude with your fellow board members and officers.
 
Sincerely,
Erica Stowe


Matthew Overbay - picture not available

Past Award Recipients