Scholarship Program Enhanced To Increase Access to Workforce Training and Education in Rural Communities | Eastern North Carolina Now | The Golden LEAF Foundation awards funds to provide scholarships for both high school and community college transfers entering a four-year college or university in North Carolina as well as for rural students attending community college in North Carolina.

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    The Golden LEAF Foundation awards funds to provide scholarships for both high school and community college transfers entering a four-year college or university in North Carolina as well as for rural students attending community college in North Carolina. As a result of the recently adopted strategic plan, Golden LEAF is working to enhance current scholarship offerings to continue to improve access to education and workforce training to support the long-term economic advancement of rural North Carolina.

    Scholarships for Community College Students

    Golden LEAF awards funds to the North Carolina Community College System to disburse to participating colleges to provide scholarships for students from rural, tobacco-dependent or economically distressed counties.

    For the current school year, beginning summer 2021, Golden LEAF awarded $1.75 million for this purpose.

    Students are eligible to receive up to $2,250 per year for curriculum courses or up to $1,850 per year for continuing education programs. These award amounts have been increased over prior year limits in response to recommendations from the North Carolina Community College System Office. Scholarship funds can be used to cover the cost of attendance which includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, credentialing tests, transportation, and childcare.

    These funds will be leveraged along with other new and existing federal and state programs to support individual college efforts to provide free tuition to students. Check out the efforts below:


    Interested students should contact their college's financial aid office for more information on how to apply.

    Scholarships for Four-Year College and University Students

    Earlier this year Golden LEAF announced the award of 215 scholarships to high school students and community college transfers attending a four-year college or university in North Carolina. In addition to scholarship funds, Golden LEAF provides additional optional benefits to scholars including leadership development and paid internships in rural North Carolina communities.

    Leadership Development

    The Golden LEAF Board of Directors awarded $1.5 million to the Center for Creative Leadership to provide a leadership development experience for four-year Golden LEAF Scholarship recipients. This fall, freshmen students participating in the online leadership experience will receive hands-on leadership training from the Center for Creative Leadership, personalized support from highly-trained executive coaches, credentials to add to their resumes, support from a network of peers, and a fresh perspective on how to positively impact their rural communities. This new experience builds on the success of an initiative already in place for rising sophomore, junior, and senior Golden LEAF scholars.

    Rural Internships

    Golden LEAF prioritizes internships as a way for four-year Golden LEAF scholars to connect with rural North Carolina as a professional and help increase the likelihood that, upon college graduation, the scholar will return to rural North Carolina to live and work. To help enhance the internship portion of the four-year component of the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program, the Golden LEAF Board approved issuing a request for proposals for an Internship Program Administrator. This entity will work with Golden LEAF to finalize a new, enhanced internship opportunity and administer it. The administrator and program will be in place for internship opportunities beginning summer 2022.

    Scholarship Program Manager

    The Golden LEAF Board approved the creation of a new Scholarship Program Manager role to lead implementation of the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program for two- and four-year institutions. This position will support an increased focus on outreach and engagement with future, current, and former Golden LEAF Scholars and stakeholders in addition to enhanced Golden LEAF Scholarship Program elements. The Scholarship Program Manager will also manage funding to entities that administer scholarship, leadership, and internship program elements. The position is expected to be filled in August 2021.
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