February 2017

Happy Valentine's Day

Alumni Spotlight, Meet Cody Bowles

We love our GRASP Alumni and are again delighted to share a GRASP Alumni story with you!

What schools have you attended: I graduated from Lee-Davis High School in 2012 and from George Mason University in 2016. While at GMU, I studied Government and International Politics and am particularly interested in Virginia politics, economic development and public policy. What is the best thing GRASP has done for you? The best thing that GRASP has done for me is to give me the ability to pursue a higher education. I am a first-generation college student and was always worried about how I would afford a college degree. Education is the gateway to the middle class and GRASP has helped me to get to a place where I now have a college degree and can financially support myself. I'm very thankful for this.

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What are you doing now? Currently, I'm a Program Assistant at the National Science Foundation. I support scientists in their mission to provide federal research dollars to qualified academic proposals around the country. What one piece of "educational advice" would you give to high school students? A bit of advice that I would give to high school students is to figure out what you care about. Whether that be biology, politics, history or any other subject, use the next few years in college to figure out what you love to do and study. If you don't know what to study or what you love doing, take advantage of diverse courses that your college or university offers.
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GRASP Earns Standards Basics Recognition

GRASP was recently recognized by the Standards for Excellence Institute® for successfully fulfilling the Standards Basic requirements of their Standards for Excellence® program. The Standards for Excellence Institute® encourages excellence and integrity in nonprofit management. Organizations voluntarily participate, and their internal practices undergo a rigorous "ethics checkup." The Standards for Excellence®: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector (the code) is the centerpiece of the Standards for Excellence® program. The standards evaluate principles of honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, responsibility, and accountability in nonprofit program operations, governance, human resources, financial management, and fundraising. The standards set a high benchmark. They go beyond the minimum legal requirements by outlining how well-managed and responsibly governed nonprofits should operate. The GRASP staff began the process for achieving this recognition last summer and is proud that the organization has reached this milestone. When you support GRASP, you can do so with the confidence that the organization is focused on Ethics and Accountability for our investors.

Hero's Corner

Thank you to the Cameron Foundation for sponsoring GRASP's participation in the Standards for Excellence.


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.