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Letter: Thanks in order for community’s support

This holiday season, I am writing on behalf of the Rowan County Crosby Scholars’ staff and board of directors to thank our community for giving the gift of hope to the students in Rowan County.

Crosby Scholars, now in our seventh year, has enrolled over 7,200 students to date. Integral partnerships with Rowan-Salisbury Schools, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Livingstone College and Catawba College continue to help us serve participants in new and creative ways. Each year, hundreds of students and parents participate in our Academy workshops, coordinated by Kathy Sanborn and her team at Education4All. Our volunteer base has grown, thanks to the work of Mary Allen Conforti. We would not be able to function without the services our volunteer advisors provide to help our students access college.

Community partners like Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina and F&M Bank, which kindly provides us with office space each year, allow us to focus on offering impactful services for our students.

Funding from the Blanche & Julian Robertson Family Foundation, the Salisbury-Rowan Community Foundation and the Margaret C. Woodson Foundation helps us to build the college-going culture in Rowan County. The generosity of folks such as Fred and Alice Stanback, Nancy Stanback, Greg and Missie Alcorn, Matt and Gwin Barr, Larry Cloninger, Edward & Susan Norvell, Owen and Elizabeth Norvell, Tom and Martha Smith and many others contributes greatly to our success.

We have sent off 690 Crosby Scholars to college since 2016 — over 40% of whom were first in their family to attend.

Donors, sponsors and attendees of our annual BBQ, Bands and Boots fundraisers have allowed us to award $475,000 in Last Dollar Grants to assist with our students’ college costs. These grants have opened the door for life-changing experiences for our graduates.

Jessica Vess

Salisbury

Editor’s note: Vess is executive director of Crosby Scholars.

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