One evening in 2016, Liz and Gil Blankespoor, two longtime Reston residents, went to dinner at a local restaurant. While there, they learned that their waitress was working two jobs and her husband, three. It was revealed that despite the couple’s hard work to provide a quality life for their family, they still could not afford to send their daughter to college. Unable to accept the injustice of a Reston couple, holding five jobs between them, being unable to help their child receive a higher education, Liz and Gil immediately decided to start the Reston Scholarship Fund.
The Reston Scholarship Fund of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia awards ten scholarships annually to graduating South Lakes High School seniors planning to attend Northern Virginia Community College before transferring to a four-year college/university. The scholarships, with a maximum possible award of $16,000, are renewable for up to six years as long as the student continues to demonstrate financial need, maintains a 2.75 GPA or higher, and funding is available.
The Fund was founded as a 501(c)(3) in 2016, and in 2017 joined the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia, which oversees it today. We work closely with educational professionals at South Lakes High School as well as the Pathways Program at Northern Virginia Community College, who encourage qualifying students to apply for the scholarships.
“We believe in Reston and Reston’s next generation. We also know the value of education in today’s world. We were inspired to create the Reston Scholarship Fund to give today’s students a pathway to higher education.”
-Liz and Gil Blankespoor
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