Roy Dwyer is all about “paying it forward.” He is contributing to his great-niece’s college fund because his parents helped contribute to his two daughters’ college funds. He also donated to Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program immediately after his youngest daughter, Kaitlyn, graduated in May 2017. Because of her participation in CCAP, Kaitlyn was able to transfer to the University of Mary Washington in Fall 2017 with no college debt.

CCAP is “a great opportunity for parents,” Dwyer said. “You’re able to save money and also get your child a good education.”

Dwyer encourages other parents to not only contribute to CCAP but to explore if their employer offers a matching gifts program. Allstate, where Dwyer works as a claim representative in the Salem office, offers such a program. For every dollar he contributes to CCAP, Allstate matches it 100 percent.

“It’s so important that you can double your money – more people need to take advantage of this,” he said.

Dwyer said Virginia Western was the perfect bridge experience for his daughter, whom he describes as a homebody who wasn’t ready for a four-year school after graduating from Cave Spring High School. Kaitlyn flourished at Virginia Western, graduating summa cum laude and gaining new confidence in herself. The College “gave her a direction she didn’t know she was aware of,” he said. At Mary Washington, Kaitlyn hopes to further her literary interests by majoring in creative writing.

Dwyer said he was moved to donate to ensure that others can benefit from CCAP as his own family did. “Why not give back?” he said. “It’s especially important to give so that others can benefit, especially those who really need the help.”

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