Tillery scholarship offered

Published 10:58 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2015

For the second consecutive year, the C. Faye Tillery Youth Volunteer Scholarship will be offered to young people in Virginia that volunteer in their communities.

C. Faye Tiller

C. Faye Tillery

Tillery was a beloved Suffolk Parks and Recreation employee who died about 15 years ago from cervical cancer at the age of 37.

The C. Faye Tillery Community Cancer Awareness Day has been held in Suffolk for the past 14 years, and it is an event designed to remember Tillery’s life and the influence she had on everyone who knew her.

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The event features youth and adult basketball games, but the Tillery family has wanted to do more to honor Tillery.

Tillery’s niece, Vonda Holman-Carter, came up with the idea of producing a scholarship in her name.

“I would say 10 years ago I came up with the idea, but nothing ever came out of it,” Holman-Carter said.

Lacking any outside help, she decided the family would go ahead and establish the scholarship on their own.

“Everybody in the family just gave donations,” Holman-Carter said. “We came up with the thousand dollars,” and she established the process.

The scholarship is intended for a young person between the ages of 8 and 18 who volunteers in their community on a regular basis.

Holman-Carter wanted to make the scholarship “something that they can work for and achieve,”

The recipient will receive cash, and unlike an academic scholarship, it will not be designated toward anything. It will be one-time direct gift.

“These are kids that are giving back to the community, and these are the kids that never get recognized,” Holman-Carter said.

She also wants the scholarship to remind people that her aunt was more than just a faithful city employee.

“I wanted to give something back to the community that would show that she worked in the community,” Holman-Carter said, and she wants the scholarship to encourage more young people to help in the community.

Applications are now open for young people in Virginia in the age range. They are required to fill out the application, write a one-page, typed essay describing their community service projects and participation and provide two recommendation letters from people that know them well.

Applicants will be evaluated by a committee composed largely of Suffolk residents, and scores will be assigned based on things like what the applicant does in the community, how they are doing in school, the neatness of their application and how well their references know them.

“We had 19 applications last year, and I’m hoping to have at least 20 to 30 this year,” Holman-Carter said.

The scholarship presentation will be made in Suffolk on March 21 for the 15th annual C. Faye Tillery Community Cancer Awareness Day.

For questions regarding the scholarship, contact Vonda Holman-Carter at 443-604-8212 or vondaholmancarter@gmail.com.