March 2017

Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

You may be a donor, or in a school, working closely with our advisors, or a Foundation, whose support allows us to help an entire community. On this St. Patrick's Day, we are grateful for you.

Alumni Spotlight, Meet Jonelle Jones

What schools have you attended? Waynesboro High School, Hampton University, and North Carolina Central University School of Law. What is your proudest moment associated with GRASP? My proudest moment with GRASP was receiving the 2012 Last Dollar Scholarship at my high school awards ceremony. Additionally, I was proud to be awarded the College Success Scholarship each year after.
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Your GRASP story. I was introduced to GRASP during my senior year of high school while I was preparing for the college admission process. Throughout college GRASP kept in touch with me through monthly email programs to see how I was making progress and to ensure that I was on top of my finances for school. I regret that I was never able to attend GRASP community service and meet ups that they have during the summer. Because of GRASP scholarships, I was able to buy textbooks and pay for part of my tuition without depending on loans. I recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Hampton University, ranked 2 of 374, in the class of 2016 with a BA in Sociology. I am enrolled at North Carolina Central University School of Law for Fall of 2016. Thank you GRASP for all of your support along the way. Photo courtesy of the News Virginian.

Hero's Corner

Thank you to Universal Leaf Foundation for supporting the GRASP program at Lunenburg County's Central High School. As a result of their contributions, GRASP Advisor Gail Benjamin has assisted more than 100 students so far this school year in overcoming obstacles to higher education through one-on-one financial aid advising. Over 60% of these students are from low-income families.


Friday, October 6, 6:00 p.m., Bolling Haxall House, Richmond

Sponsor a table •Donate to the silent auction •Volunteer to make this a memorable event again this year.

Contact Paula Buckley, to support GRASP!

New York Times Cites FAFSA Issue

You may have read in the New York Times about the issue where the link to the IRS tax information is unavailable to families completing the FAFSA. This is exactly the kind of hurdle that GRASP advisors are trained to step in and overcome. GRASP was notified of the problem by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and the National College Access Network. Our advisors immediately began working with families on rather tedious workarounds. Also, GRASP notified school counselors last week of this problem. Financial aid offices have informed us that they expect a far greater number of verifications in the spring.

If you would like to know more about this topic, please contact Anne Michie, Director of Advising at

You can find the New York Times article by clicking here.


GReat Aspirations Scholarship Program, Inc. (GRASP) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, charitable, college access organization that assists Virginia's students and families in reaching their educational goals.