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American Electric Power Foundation awards $100,000 grant to CCAP

The American Electric Power Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to support Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a nationally recognized effort that provides up to three years of tuition to qualified Roanoke Valley high school graduates.

Brad N. Hall, vice president of external affairs for Appalachian Power, said “AEP and Appalachian Power have a long relationship with Virginia Western Community College and share its dedication to help build a workforce capable of developing and supporting the necessary elements for a climate of growth in the Roanoke region. This $100,000 gift from the AEP Foundation represents our commitment to Virginia Western and its vision for the people of the area through CCAP.”

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to support CCAP, scholarships and other College needs, is the recipient of the grant. The Educational Foundation aims to raise a total of $6.5 million by 2021 from public and private sources as part of its CCAP2 Campaign. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015. Since its founding 2008, CCAP has provided tuition support to more than 2,500 students.

CCAP provides “last in” scholarship support, filling any tuition payment gaps after a qualified student has applied for federal or state financial aid. The program funding is based on a 50/50 match: A locality pledges a specific dollar amount for its high school graduates in a given year; the Educational Foundation then raises a matching amount from private businesses, foundations, community groups and individuals.

“Virginia Western and Appalachian Power have been a long-time partners in moving the region forward. Their leadership support for CCAP will support student success while eliminating crippling student debt. We are honored and proud to work with the AEP Foundation to make a difference in our communities,” said Dr. Robert H. Sandel, President of Virginia Western Community College.

“Through this gift from the AEP Foundation we are representing and honoring dozens of our own employees who are graduates of Virginia Western and have already proven to us the benefits of its educational opportunity here. We hope through this gift that we can help assure the on-going success of the Community College Access Program and its participants who will become leaders in the economic growth of this region,” said Larry Jackson, Appalachian Power external affairs director for Virginia.

With the American Electric Power Foundation grant, the Educational Foundation has raised $2,011,969 million of the $3.25 million in private support it is seeking during the CCAP2 campaign. It will continue its ongoing partnerships with Roanoke Valley localities to raise the public portion of $3.25 million over the next five years.

About the Community College Access Program

  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the cities of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 19,000 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
  • CCAP recently expanded to include tuition support for students seeking short-term, industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields such as welding, mechatronics and pharmacy tech.
  • The average incoming grade point average of CCAP participants is 3.3. More than 78% enroll at Virginia Western with the intention of transferring to a four-year institution.
  • In 2014, CCAP was named a finalist in the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Awards, in recognition of its pioneering effort to strengthen the local workforce. The program has served a model for similar programs, including New River Community College and Dabney Lancaster College.

For more information about Virginia Western’s CCAP, contact Philanthropy Director Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.

VWCC launches CCAP2 fundraising campaign with major gift

Drew Parker

The Virginia Western Community College Educational Foundation has launched its second fundraising campaign to benefit Virginia Western’s Community College Access Program (CCAP), a nationally recognized effort that provides up to three years of tuition to qualified Roanoke Valley high school graduates.

At an April 24 announcement, campaign co-chairman Neil Wilkin Jr. said the Educational Foundation aims to raise $6.5 million by 2021 to support CCAP. The first campaign to launch CCAP surpassed its $5 million goal in 2015 and greatly reduced or eliminated college debt for 2,200 students.

“CCAP is a transformative program that has been embraced by the entire Roanoke Valley,” Wilkin said. “We look forward to working with our public and private partners in building on the program’s powerful momentum.”

CCAP provides “last in” scholarship support, filling any tuition payment gaps after a qualified student has applied for federal or state financial aid. The program funding is based on a 50/50 match: A locality pledges a specific dollar amount for its high school graduates in a given year; the Educational Foundation then raises a matching amount from private businesses, foundations, community groups and individuals.

A leading private donor, Carter Machinery Inc., was honored at the April 24 event and given the College’s Community Impact Award for a $300,000 gift to support what’s officially called the “CCAP2 Campaign: Renew. Re-charge. Re-imagine.” Andrew J. Parker, CEO of Carter Machinery, and his wife, Kate, made the gift on behalf of the Salem-based company.

Carter Machinery is the authorized Caterpillar dealer serving Virginia and southern West Virginia with four divisions, including Earthmoving, Mining, Power Systems and Rental Services. Founded more than 60 years ago, Carter Machinery has grown from three stores into a network of 18 locations and 1,200 employees.

“Carter Machinery is dedicated to supporting the development of the next generation of leaders,” Andrew Parker said.  “We believe in the future of Virginia Western students and the Valley, and we invite others to join us in support of this transformational program as it enters its next phase of expansion.”

Virginia Western President Dr. Robert H. Sandel expressed his thanks to the Parkers and noted the annual Community Impact Award is one of the highest honors that the College can bestow. “This gift supports the College’s mission by enabling student learning and development in meaningful and extraordinary ways,” Sandel said. “Make no mistake, it will leave an indelible mark on the CCAP program and the future of our region.”

With the Carter Machinery gift, the Educational Foundation has raised $1.79 million of the $3.25 million  in private support it is seeking during the CCAP2 campaign. It will continue its ongoing partnerships with Roanoke Valley localities to raise the public portion of $3.25 million over the next five years.

About the Community College Access Program

  • Since its founding 2008, more than 2,200 students have participated in the program.
  • CCAP serves the entire Virginia Western Community College service region, including the counties of Botetourt, Craig, Franklin and Roanoke and the city of Roanoke and Salem.
  • Participants are required to volunteer 4 hours of community-based service each semester. To date, they have given back 14,000 volunteer hours to area nonprofit organizations.
  • CCAP recently expanded to include tuition support for students seeking short-term, industry-recognized credentials in high-demand fields such as welding, mechatronics and pharmacy tech.
  • The average incoming grade point average of CCAP participants is 3.3. More than 75% enroll at Virginia Western with the intention of transferring to a four-year institution.
  • In 2014, CCAP was named a finalist in the Community College Futures Assembly’s Bellwether Awards, in recognition of its pioneering effort to strengthen the local workforce. The program has served a model for similar programs, including New River Community College and Dabney Lancaster College.

For more information about Virginia Western’s CCAP, contact Donor Relations Coordinator Amanda Mansfield at amansfield@virginiawestern.edu or (540) 857-6962. Go online to learn more about CCAP2 at virginiawestern.edu/makecollegepossible.

CCAP: Building tomorrow’s leaders

In Spring 2017, Cassidy Peters graduated from Virginia Western with an associate in science degree, Phi Theta Kappa honors and dreams of becoming a health care administrator in the mold of Lisa Cuddy on Fox TV’s “House, M.D.”

What brought you to Virginia Western?

I am a first-generation college student. I live in Ferrum, my family is not super-wealthy. I had no idea how to really do the college thing.

But a Virginia Western advisor approached me in high school and told me about CCAP, how I could go tuition-free if I met all of the requirements. A Franklin County High School teacher also told me about my options with the transfer program.

It seemed like an easy decision to me. I was good for two years and I had all the advising help I needed. To me, I knew this was the best option because — while I’ve never held $20,000 in my hands — I know I don’t want to pay it a year.

What would you have done without CCAP?

My first semester here was a little shaky. I don’t think high school students know how to study. It’s a difficult transition, to try to teach yourself a lot. If I’d gone to a four-year school, my GPA would not be as good as it is and I’d have student loans. And I think I wouldn’t have been as grown up – I really grew up here. I really know what I want now.

What are your plans after Virginia Western?

I am transferring to Jefferson College of Health Sciences to get a bachelor’s in health sciences and then hope to become a physician’s assistant. But my ultimate goal is to get a master’s in healthcare administration. I want to be Cuddy and help run a hospital. I very much crave leadership – a good leader can bring out the best in people.  And I like the idea of saving lives and making that as efficient as possible.

What role did the advisors at Virginia Western play in that decision?

It was my business advisor here who told me, “Hey, you can get your MBA but also have a strong health tie.’ I had no idea that even existed.

What I noticed is when you talk to advisors at four-year schools, the only thing they market to you is their school. Here, the difference is their goal is to get you to your end goal – not just to this school. You guys were looking more at the big picture instead of just selling me on the school.

How important is CCAP in Franklin County?

CCAP really does mean the difference between a kid having to take years off to earn money for school or not. It really is a door for a lot of kids. Because without it, they couldn’t afford it. Like me — I never had parents who went to college. They didn’t know how to take out a student loan or what a FAFSA was. I really had to figure it out by myself. I’m grateful I had two years here to grow up and figure that out myself.