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Spring 2022 

"The Centennial Scholars Program has shaped me into the confident woman I am today. CSP was my home away from home and everyone in this program expected me for me, I didn’t have to put on an act to feel like I belonged. The people I’ve met in CSP, will forever be near and dear to my heart because it is truly a family and one of the greatest support systems to have during such a transitional part of your life. Currently I am a 1L at William and Mary Law School. I’m mainly interested in working in criminal law at the governmental level, once I graduate. Law school is definitely not easy, but I still have the support from my mentors in CSP. Even after I have graduated, we are still in contact and I appreciate it more than ever.” 

Thank you again!!

- Brenda Goodson

Spring 2021 

"I just wanted to let you know that I am very thankful for the Centennial Scholars Scholars Program and am loving graduate school at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences just down the road." 

"When I was younger I always knew that I wanted to go to college and make a difference in this world. However, when it came time to go to college I recognized how troubling the whole process was. No one in my family had ever been before so I had no one to ask questions and financially this is something that I did not want to put on anyone but myself. Centennials made all these struggles seem to be minimal. You guys provided me with help around the campus when I was completely lost, you gave me amazing people to talk with, and laid out a whole road map on how to be successful in college. Words cannot truly describe how blessed I am to have been a part of this amazing group. I may have not had the opportunity to go to college, develop myself professionally and personally, meet amazing people, and make unforgettable memories if it was not for you guys. For this reason, I just wanted to tell you how thankful I am for you all. Please keep doing what you do. I think it is so admirable. My family and I thank you so so much. I hope to keep in touch with Centennials as we continue through the years. Best of luck to every single one of you! Centennial for life <3".

Thank you for an Amazing Journey Centennials!

Brandon Braithwaite

Fall 2019 

Dear Mrs. Strawbridge,

"Dakota Sharp and I (formerly Logan Hamlyn) wanted to send you a note of thanks. We were 2015 graduates of the Centennial Scholars Program and, although this email does not suffice, we wanted to thank you for the opportunity you gave us 8 years ago. Simply, you saw the motivation, dedication, and our potential for success in us as high school seniors long before we knew what we could accomplish ourselves."

"In May, Dakota and I graduated from JMU's Doctor of Audiology program. So not only are we Dr. Sharp and Dr. Faust now, we are proud Double Dukes, and even prouder alums of the Centennial Scholars Program. We both had the cards stacked against us beginning our collegiate career. Both of us were first generation college students and, although we knew we deserved, and could achieve, more than the life we were living, we simply did not have or know how to obtain the resources to make it happen. We genuinely don't believe that we would have excelled through our undergraduate studies and subsequently been chosen as 2 of the 6 doctoral candidates for JMU's Audiology program if not for you or the scholarship program."

"Today, we both have obtained our dream jobs:
Dakota has accepted a position as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of South Carolina, where he will see patients and teach courses within his department.
I have accepted a position at Stanford Children's Health/ Lucile Packard Children's Hospital as a pediatric Audiologist."

"We wish we could offer a thank you that you and this department truly deserve; we hope as we build our careers that we can contribute to the program in a meaningful way in the future."

"You and Centennial Scholars changed our lives, so we humbly thank you for taking a chance on us both."

"All our gratitude and sincerest thanks,"

Dr. Logan Faust
Pediatric Audiologist, Stanford Children's Health

Dr. Dakota Sharp
Audiologist and Clinical Assistant Professor, University of South Carolina


Spring 2018

"My JMU experience would not have been possible without CSP. Not only was it a huge financial help, but I also had the biggest support system I could have ever asked for. It kept me on track and made sure I applied myself to my full potential."

"I don't know where I would be with CSP... Being a part of this program has been one of the biggest blessings in my life that I will forever be grateful for. Not only has it given me financial security in paying for college costs, but the opportunities and experiences I have had through CSP have been well, life changing. I have met so many more and diverse people than I ever would have, I have volunteered in places I may never have encountered, but most importantly, I have had the privilege of being part of little community that has given me support and encouragement through some of the hardest years of my life. Being part of the Centennial Scholars Program has been invaluable to me and my growth - beneficial in many more ways than one."

"I have someone besides myself, who is holding me accountable for doing well and not giving up. College life is hard and a drastic change from high school, but CSP has helped me to have people, even if we aren't that close, to discuss and de-stress with in small group. Sometimes all we need is to unload in order to keep going towards our goals."


Fall 2017

"The money they offered me was very beneficial, but played a small part in the big picture of people that have impacted my life over the years. There are so many people that have inspired, encouraged, and push me to excel in this program. The benefits of the social support was what made me get up during the times I hit rock bottom. This program has been life changing."

"It is my second family. I am so grateful to be a member of this prestigious group. I have learned to be more open and outgoing not only in small group, but in everyday life through interacting with the people I meet. Financially, CSP has removed the stressors that come with being able to afford the college/university of your choosing. The dynamic leaders that are placed around us (GAs), motivational speakers from large group, workshops, and fellowship all contributes to amount of gratitude I have for this program. Community service, study hall, and small/large group compliance has taught me how to be more responsible as an adult and to take joy in the fact that all these things helps you to become a more rounded student. Lastly, CSP has been beneficial for me because I am more confident than ever that I can achieve all the things I want to in life thanks to the amazing support and encouragement I have received along the way."

"I have been able to complete my education without obtaining mountains of debt. But I've also learned more about mentoring, giving back to the community, and the importance of having a group of supportive friends. Honestly, CSP has provided so much more than just financial assistance. It's been a safe and supportive community, and an introduction to a wonderful diverse group of people."


Spring 2017

“It has provided me with the financial support to afford an education that would not otherwise be possible. It has helped me to establish relationships and make connections with people outside of my normal social circle and race. Most importantly, it shown me the importance of giving back, helping the community, and paying it forward to provide opportunities for students like myself to have a brighter future.” 

“It has changed my life and made me realize that I am stronger, smarter and more resilient than I thought I was. CSP has provided me with new little family every year to help me get through these tough college year and has supported me more than I could ever ask for.” 

“Not only am I able to enter the post-grad world debt free, but I also grew a better understanding of other cultures and lives that people live. Through small group and large group, I met people who are inspirational. They've been through so many hard moments in their life, yet they are still pushing through to get their degree. Centennials are very dedicated students and people.”

“CSP has been a family away from home, a place where, despite differences, everyone shares a common goal. CSP has been a source of peace and security and has been the bedrock from which I have been able to develop strong communication skills, a disciplined vision, and a strong sense of responsibility--all while maturing into a man with principles.”


Fall 2016

“It has given me a support system, made me become accountable for my personal and academic actions, has helped me to obtain a degree, has helped me to remain financially stable while in school, and has helped me to obtain my future career goal as an educator.” 


Spring 2016

"CSP has helped me give back to the community and be an active citizen both on and off campus. I have created great friendships and met wonderful mentors. It has also been beneficial in that I can graduate debt-free and pursue my graduate degree without any hesitation. I am so very happy and grateful to have been a part of CSP."

"CSP has allowed me the opportunity to get the qualifications necessary to pursue my dreams. I met some great people through my small groups as well as some mentors that changed my college experience. Although I was part of other associations and groups, CSP was the one that truly inspired me to give back."

"Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do--you make such a difference at JMU and impact students' lives. Years later, I am still very grateful I had the college experience and some of the most beautiful memories at a great school thanks to CSP. I will never forget that. Wishing you and CSP all the best, always."


Spring 2015

"CSP has offered me cohesive, wholesome, and amazing opportunities to develop myself both academically and personally. I have grown as a leader thanks to the accessibility I had. I joined service-oriented organizations since I didn't have to have a job to pay for my school expenses. I love the Small Group program and the Big/Little programs because those helped me develop interpersonal relationships, work well with others, and be a mentor for a younger CSP student. I am so thankful to JMU, Mrs. Strawbridge, and both President Rose and Alger for allowing me the privilege to be a Centennial Scholars beneficiary."

"They have given me the opportunity to continue my educational career. They helped me focus on my studies without having to stress on my financial situation. I am grateful for this program and all of its values."

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