MEMORIAL DAY: United Community is closed on May 30th, 2022

Community Spotlight

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Thank You For Supporting My College Dream: Vanesa Avila – 2020 Valencourt Scholarship Recipient

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[United Community] has helped me to be one step closer into finishing my degree [thanks to the Valencourt Scholarship]. This scholarship is truly a great opportunity because it will help me to be able to pay for classes and textbooks.

I am currently pursuing an associate degree in social science/teacher education at NOVA.  My end college goal is to finish school with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and also a minor in exercise science — this scholarship will help me be able to be one step closer to doing that.

I love elementary education because I am very passionate about guiding children and helping them grow in their early age. I feel that it’s very important for children to have good roles when they’re young and I would love to have that opportunity with work with as many children as I can and impact them in any positive way that I am able too. I also love exercise science because health is important, and I want to be more informed on how to stay healthy to help myself and also help others. I enjoy motivating and pushing people to reach their goals and helping them live a healthy and happy lifestyle.

I am the first generation of my family to graduate high school and attend college. This scholarship is not only helping me, but it will also help my parents to have one less worry on their shoulders.

As the first member in my family to go to college, my family and I were unprepared for all the costs associated with the college process — which is why we are so thankful for this scholarship because it’s been a great help. When I was growing up, we didn’t really plan for this college transition because we just weren’t sure of how to start. Now thanks to United Community, we are more aware of the college process and are able to help prepare my siblings for their future college careers.

This scholarship has also allowed me to be less focused and worried about on the costs of school. I am able to focus more on my studies and getting all my classes done. I plan to continue studying at NOVA this fall semester and will be finishing my associates and then I will be transferring out to Liberty University where I will continue to pursue my bachelor’s degree and hopefully then master’s degree. 

Every year, United Community awards several $1,500 scholarships to first-generation college students from low- and moderate-income families in the Mount Vernon area through the Lois Valencourt Scholarship fund. Vanesa Avila is one of this year’s recipients. Vanesa and her family attend ESL classes at United Community’s Progreso Literacy & Citizenship Center.

Even during times of COVID, your support allows people like Vanesa to continue to pursue their dreams and further their education. Make a donation to United Community today, to help families like Vanesa’s continue to thrive!



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*Site translation is completed through Google translate and may not be completely accurate.

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