The Patrick Henry Community College Foundation, Mt. Sinai Apostle Church of Christ in God and Barry Nelson of Nelson Automotive Group joined together to create a scholarship fund for students at Mt. Sinai Church.
Stephon Jamison, 19, of Martinsville, received this year’s $500 Bishop J.C. Richardson Sr. Scholarship to attend PHCC. He said he was excited and surprised.
“It feels really good to be able to get this scholarship,” he said. “I wanted to attend PHCC to see what college is like before I make a big decision.”
Jamison graduated from Martinsville High School. He’s enrolled in the general studies program at PHCC and plans to transfer to Virginia Union University to get his degree in computer science.
Jamison’s mother, Kimberly King, said this scholarship has been a blessing for her family.
“This is a great idea, especially for the kids,” she said. “I’m disabled and college can be a financial burden for people on a fixed income. This program helped us out a lot, and we appreciate my pastor establishing this. He’s very supportive of education and always encourages the young people to do the very best they can.”
Bishop J.C. Richardson Jr. of Mt. Sinai Church said education has always been very important within his congregation.
“My father served as our pastor for 60 years, and this scholarship is a way to honor his memory,” Richardson said. “It was very exciting for Dr. (Angeline) Godwin to come out to our church and help us partner with Nelson Automotive Group. I hope other churches will consider helping their young members in the same way. We hope to continue to expand our educational efforts.”
Mt. Sinai Church raised $2,165 toward their scholarship efforts this year, which was matched by a donation from Nelson and the PHCC Foundation. The matching funds will be awarded to students from Mt. Sinai Church planning to attend PHCC.
Mary Mason, the pastor’s administrative assistant and a retired educator, said Mt. Sinai Church has a long history of serving students. She said the idea to collaborate and offer the scholarship came from Dr. Angeline Godwin, PHCC president.
“It’s a great idea to bring in business partners to help support education; that’s how we got a lot of things for our school and students when I was an educator,” she said. “This scholarship has been a great way to honor our founding pastor and keep his memory alive because he worked so hard for our young people to pursue an education beyond high school. We are most grateful to the PHCC Foundation and Nelson Automotive for their donation to make this happen.”
Nelson said he was “happy to do it. I’m glad to support education for our young people throughout the community. This award will give students from Mt. Sinai a chance to further their education at PHCC.”
Christopher Parker, executive director of the foundation and vice president of institutional advancement at PHCC, added, “The foundation looks forward to a great partnership with the church family and helping recipients of the Bishop J.C. Richardson Sr. Scholarship achieve their educational goals at PHCC.”
Since its inception in 2003, the Bishop J.C. Richardson Sr. Scholarship at Mt. Sinai Church has raised $14,000 and awarded more than 30 scholarships to students.