Background and Purpose:
The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation (the “Foundation”) has been established to provide financial support to underprivileged women to finance their higher education. It is anticipated that distributions will be made through other exempt organizations to women who reside in the Commonwealth of Virginia, largely based on need and other characteristics such as merit, integrity and academic potential. It will be the Foundation’s policy to make its distributions without regard to race, religion, color or age or any other protected classifications in accordance with applicable law.
Lisa Sechrist, in whose memory the Foundation is established, tragically lost her life when domestic violence escalated to her death. The Foundation’s goals are patterned after the factors that Lisa’s family feels contributed to this unfortunate conclusion of a promising young life. Should Lisa have been equipped with or had access to either of the following, her death may have been prevented: A complete college education to provide self-esteem as well as the skills essential to provide a stable and financially sound environment for her family, for a profession, and an affordable, safe place to live (away from her abuser).
The Foundation’s scholarship fund will award college tuition, moneys and school-related expenses to qualified candidates based upon need, integrity, merit, and academic potential. The award will be given in the form of a gift, not expected to be repaid, in an amount to be determined after fundraising efforts are farther along. It is anticipated that during this year , the Foundation will provide one (1) scholarship up to $10,000 to one (1) qualified candidate to be paid over a four year time period or shorter, if attending another acceptable program. This scholarship opportunity will be publicized throughout the Fairfax County School System and Prince William County School System by way of Guidance Counselors and public notices.
Applicants for the Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation Scholarship must meet the following criteria:
- At the end of the candidate’s high school career, candidate will be awarded with a high school diploma or equivalent.
- The candidate must demonstrate that she is working toward the completion of her application to an accredited institution of higher learning. Where possible, the foundation will make every effort to assist the candidate with the application. Before the scholarship funds are distributed, the candidate must be accepted to an accredited four-year college, university or a post high school education program. This would include community college or technical schools.
- Positive consideration will be given to those candidates who are members of honor societies, participate in sports, or other extra curricular activities, demonstrate citizenship and service within the community, and/or exhibit leadership skills within the school or community. These qualities and/or accomplishments will enhance a candidate’s standing in the evaluation process.
The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation Scholarship shall be administered by The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee (“Selection Committee”). The Selection Committee members shall be appointed by the Board of the Foundation. The candidate who will receive the award shall be selected by majority vote of the Selection Committee. In the event of a tie, the chairman will be entrusted with the final decision.
The Selection Committee as authorized by the Board will award one (1) scholarship to one (1)-qualified candidate. As fundraising efforts allow, the scholarship may be renewed by the Selection Committee for the candidate each year for three additional years. Renewal of the scholarship for the candidate for each succeeding year shall be contingent upon the candidate’s maintenance of a 2.5 average or equivalent if other type of grading scale is used. In order to ensure that the candidate is meeting the requirements set forth by the Foundation, the candidate will be required to present to the Selection Committee the candidate’s semester grades within a reasonable period. In the event that the candidate falls below the minimum grade point average referenced above at any time during the first year or succeeding years, the Foundation will withdraw the unexpended moneys.
The award of the scholarship shall include a presentation of a suitable certificate, plaque or other appropriate evidence that the scholarship has been granted, the cost of which shall be borne by the Foundation. Presentation of the scholarship will be determined at a later date.
Should the award recipient misuse the funds, the Selection Committee will withhold further funds from the recipient as the matter is investigated. The Foundation will seek recovery of the misused funds and distribute the funds in a manner described above, or will dedicate them to a charitable purpose.
The scholarship money normally shall be paid to the institution of the recipient’s choice not later than the beginning of the first school year following graduation from the recipient’s high school. If the recipient should fail to attend the designated school during the year following the award, the grant shall be restored to the Foundation’s funds. The funds can either be restored to the Foundation’s funds or rewarded to another candidate for the current year, or two awards may be made the following year. The grant may be used only for purposes of an educational nature and may not be paid directly to the recipient.
Changes made to these guidelines by the preparation of addenda will be reviewed and signed by the Officers of the Foundation. All addenda must be treated as part of the original guideline document. The original spirit and intention of the fund should be perpetuated to the greatest extent possible.
It shall be the Board’s responsibility with the assistance of the Selection Committee annually to:
- Determine the anticipated amount available for an award during the then current year.
- Advertise the availability of the scholarship to potential recipients.
- Select a recipient who meets the established criteria.
- Arrange presentation of the award.
- Receive/secure documented evidence of the candidate’s matriculation at the school of choice (and inform the recipient of the requirement at the time of the award).
- Disburse the funds to the school of the recipient’s choice on or about August 1, but no later than the beginning of the school year.
- Maintain records of The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation Scholarship in accordance with good accounting practices, including a record of all receipts, deposits, disbursements, and distributions.
- A copy of these guidelines will be maintained by The Lisa Sechrist Memorial Foundation. Assigned copy of the guidelines by the recipients will also be maintained by the Foundation.