JMU in the Community

Scholarship program rekindles hope for three more students

Madison Caller

SUMMARY: Gifts to the Madison Forever Scholarship emergency student aid fund breathe life back into hope.

Gifts to the Madison Forever Scholarship emergency student aid fund breathe life back into hope.

Alecia Epp ('14) hopes some day to work as an executive at a top-ranked hospital. A health services administration major with a business minor, Epp knows the pain of losing hope. Her father died in March 2013 of cancer. Without the Madison Forever Scholarship, the Eldersburg, Md., native would have seen her dream of being the first person in her family to graduate from college vanish.

I was obviously so upset when my dad died, and then I was also upset because I didn't want to not come back for my last year at this place that is my second home, Epp says. "This scholarship is awesome to me. It has helped me stay here. I'm so incredibly grateful. It really has changed my life."

Jared Farnsworth ('16) deals in hope each waking moment. An interdisciplinary liberal studies major who is pursuing elementary education certification with a concentration in mathematics and science, Farnsworth dreams of a life spent "reaching my goal of showing people that someone else cares about them."

One of five siblings, Farnsworth, of Richmond, Va., found himself on the brink of dropping out of school after his father lost his job. "I feel so blessed to get the help from Madison Forever," he says. "I was definitely blown away when I got it."

Camisha Matthews ('14) knows about hope. She is a School of Media Arts and Design student with a concentration in graphic design. She plans to follow graduation by studying in Vienna next summer alongside William Tate, one of her favorite JMU professors. The Purcellville, Va., native is finishing her academic career at JMU and seizing the Vienna opportunity to learn in what she calls "one of the meccas of design" thanks to a Madison Forever Scholarship while her mother fights a second bout with cancer.

"I am so grateful for this scholarship," says Matthews, who put on an art show at a downtown Harrisonburg restaurant this fall after being hand-picked by the restaurant owner. "I have gotten a great education at JMU, and I would not have been able to finish here without the help," Matthews says. "I am super excited to get to the next chapter of my life, yet will be sad to leave JMU because it's been so good to me."

Madison Forever Scholarship gifts help rekindle hope, and help a Duke stay a Duke.

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Published: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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