July 2017

Alumni Spotlight - Achieving the American Dream!

1. What schools have you attended? Douglas S. Freeman High School and the University of Richmond (Accounting and Religious Studies) 2. What is the best thing GRASP has done for you? GRASP has really done so many good things for my family and me. The financial contributions they made towards my education helped lessen the financial burden of attending a four-year university. Apart from the financial support, which I am eternally grateful for, GRASP also helped by putting me into contact with the most wonderful advisors. Everyone I have had contact with at the organization has been nothing short of amazing and helpful. The advisors were very open and provided great assistance in applying for various government grants as well as other outside scholarships. They also put me into contact with University financial advisors to figure out the cost of attending college. I am immensely grateful for the advisors and other employees I have worked with—Paula Buckley, Brigid Prior, Sarah Powell, Janet Andrews, Bettsy Heggie, Donielda Leino, and Selma Nuhanovic. Even though some have moved on to other career paths, I am grateful for their help while they were still part of the GRASP family.
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3. What are you/will you be doing next?
During the summer, I will be studying for and taking the CPA exam. In the fall, I will begin working as an audit associate at Deloitte in their Richmond office. 4. What one piece of "educational advice" would you give to high school students? Start planning sooner rather than later and take advantage of all of the resources available to you because they really make all of the difference. You are never alone and it really helps to know that there are people out there who want to help you as much as they can! 5. What is the biggest life challenge you faced relative to your educational path? The biggest challenge I faced relating to my educational path was not whether I would be going to college at all, but how I would be financing it. Not attending a four-year college or university was not an available option to me. As an immigrant and child of an immigrant, I knew that the sacrifices my mom made to get my sister and myself to the U.S. were so that we could have a better life and access to more opportunities that we would have had back in our native land. Education was always at the forefront of my family’s mind—it was the one way to succeed and provide validation that the sacrifices made early on were worth it. I knew that I was going to get a higher education, but I never knew how I would be able to finance it since my family did not have the financial means to put us through college. Because of the expectation that was set early on, I knew that in order to attend college and not put my family through financial distress, that I would have to keep up grades in order to get scholarships from various different organizations and be diligent in seeking out other grants and forms of financial assistance.

GRASP helps with all post secondary options

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Two Nelson County High School students received help on applications from their GRASP advisor and were recently accepted into the highly competitive University of Virginia Apprenticeship Program. The program includes on-the-job training, technical education and classroom training and takes four years to complete. Only six to nine new apprentices are selected for the program each year. Apprentices are full-time employees at the University of Virginia with a salary and benefits. To learn more about the program, follow this link:

Congratulations Nelson County graduates!

LIVE! at Stonebridge summer concert benefiting GRASP

Thursday, July 13th, 6-9pm

7000 Tim Price Way

Richmond, VA

Come out for Live Music featuring the local duo Steve & Casey, local brew by Steam Bell Beer Works, wine by Wine Box, yummy eats by Qdoba, fun games, and a great evening out!

Event brought to you by:
S2 Capital Partners LLC
Element at Stonebridge Apartments

July's Guest Host:

Amy Lacey

Anchor/8News at 5 and 5:30

WRIC News Where You Live

Special thanks to event sponsors:
Chesterfield County Economic Development
Richmond Volleyball Club
Great Clips
Zillow Group


GRASP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable, college access organization that assists students and families in obtaining funding for post-secondary education.