The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation is proud to announce the first recipient of a new scholarship that supports students completing academic internships.

Megan Perdue of Glade Hill is the first student to receive the Cabell Brand Center Gap Scholarship, which is named for the late Cabell Brand, a Salem businessman, philanthropist and longtime supporter of Virginia Western.

Perdue, a Franklin County High School graduate, will complete her internship this summer at the Booker T. Washington National Monument in Hardy. After graduating from Virginia Western in May, Perdue will transfer to William & Mary and complete her bachelor’s degree in history. Perdue also is a Valley Proteins Fellow, participating in a prestigious scholarship program administered by the Virginia Community College System.

The Cabell Brand Center initiated the endowed scholarship in 2016 with a $60,000 gift to the Educational Foundation. Recipients receive financial assistance as they complete academic internships at nonprofit or public entities that support the Center’s mission of addressing poverty, peace and the environment.

Perdue previously volunteered for five years at the Booker T. Washington National Monument, an experience she said inspired her ambition to one day teach history. As an intern she will help with everyday operations of the park, with water quality testing in the park’s creek, the park’s annual Juneteenth Event, and help with living history interpretation. She also will assist with the Junior Ranger Programs and with the development operation of the park’s first ever ECO-Camp.

“It is such an honor for the Cabell Brand Center to continue Cabell’s philanthropy by helping young people pursue their dreams and change the world for the better,” said Steve Sunderman, President of the nonprofit Cabell Brand Center.

The mission of the Cabell Brand Center is to inspire social responsibility and global citizenship through knowledge and active engagement.  It executes this mission by hosting informative public events, collaborative projects for both local and global action, supporting students who aspire to make a difference with their career or service activities through our scholarship program, and generating scientific publications to contribute to the advancement of science and the public good. To learn more, visit www.cabellbrandcenter.org.

A native of Salem, Cabell Brand was a leading businessman and philanthropist in the Roanoke region. After graduating from Virginia Military Institute and serving in World War II, he took over his family’s shoe company and built it into a massive business known as Stuart McGuire before selling it to the Home Shopping Network. Brand founded Total Action Against Poverty, now known as Total Action for Progress, and helped create one of the first Head Start preschool programs in the country, among many other achievements. Brand was the author of the 2008 book, “If Not Me, Then Who?,” in which he provides guidance on how individuals may contribute to poverty, peace and environmental issues in America.

The Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship represents the Educational Foundation’s first effort to specifically support students as they complete academic – and often unpaid – internships. The scholarship is intended to provide financial assistance and spur students’ interest in a career of public service.

For more information on the Cabell Brand Gap Scholarship, contact the Hall Associates Career Center, (540) 857-7298 or careercenter@virginiawestern.edu.  Applications are accepted year-round for fall, spring and summer internships.