About the VRA Foundation
The VRA Foundation is a 501c(3) organization. The mission of the Foundation is to increase excellence in personal living and upward mobility of members of the Virginia Rehabilitation Association through educational assistance as they provide advocacy for the disabled population of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In essence the VRA Foundation provides Grant In Aid scholarships to deserving VRA members and their families, so that they can defray educational costs and further their education. It is a wonderful benefit of your VRA membership.
The Virginia Rehabilitation Association created the Grant-in-Aid Program with the establishment of an endowment fund in 1985 with an amount of $1,000. Fund raising began. Contributions continued to enhance the fund until by action of the September 1988 VRA Board the endowment was topped off at $10,000 from VRA general funds. All funds received after that is an addition to the endowment.
The committee began to administer the program in the academic year of 1988-89 and continued under the direction of the VRA Board until the Foundation was incorporated in 1992. Donations in honor and in memory are accepted for responses to family and friends.
The Board of Trustees as appointed by the Virginia Rehabilitation Association governs the Foundation. The organization consists of three officers and four additional members who are elected for rotating terms of service.
The Board of Trustees is responsible for an annual low key event to solicit the VRA Board and its membership toward increasing the endowment. In 1998, the Foundation Board members were given a financial challenge, which they met. In 1999 and 2000, the Board was given a $500 challenge for the Board and the VRA membership. These challenges were met. The largest major gift to date came in 1999 when the Miss Wheelchair Virginia Pageant decided to forgo the incorporated status and close down. The entire treasury of $2,433.56 was donated to the Foundation. Donations may be made payable to the VRA Foundation at anytime.
VRA Foundation Scholarship
Persons eligible to receive aid are VRA members in good standing or a child or spouse of a member. Applications and criteria may be obtained from any VRA Education Foundation Board member.
Please complete the online application form to be considered for the VRA Education Foundation Scholarship or download and email to Mark Fletcher at [email protected].
VRA Continuing Education Scholarship
The Virginia Rehabilitation Education Foundation scholarship is a benefit of
membership for those belonging to VRA. In addition to the traditional educational
scholarship awarded annually to a VRA member or VRA family member, the VRA
Foundation has established another category for scholarships; The Continuing
Education Scholarship. These scholarships will allow members to apply for grants
for continuing education opportunities. Each year, the VRA Foundation will
designate the Continuing Education Scholarship to be given in honor or memory of
Michelle N Omowaiye, 2020
"I am so thrilled to be selected as this year’s recipient of the VRA Education Foundation scholarship. I am grateful for the generosity of this foundation in putting the time, effort and resources into fostering the next generation of Rehabilitation Counselors. I am beyond appreciative of the award money, but I am equally humbled by the acknowledgment of being a student worthy of receiving this award. It has been a very long journey to get to where I am today but all the twists and turns have helped me foster a love for helping others, and given me lived experiences that will enrich my practice and make me better equipped to provide the best service possible to my clients. My relationship with the Virginia Rehabilitation Association has just begun and I am looking forward to becoming more connected with my fellow passionate, hard-working members, in order to create health and wellness within my local Richmond community and beyond."
Caitlyn Hewitt, 2020
Caitlyn Hewitt is the 2020-2021 VRA Education Foundation Recipient. Caitlyn attends James Madison University and thanks the VRA Foundation for the scholarship.
Indya Hansley, 2020
Indya Hansley is one of the 2020 VRA Education Foundation Recipients. Indya attends the University of Maryland Eastern Short and thanks the VRA Foundation for the scholarship.
VRA Foundation Board Members
Mark Fletcher, Chair
Kim Shepard, Treasurer
Adair Jensen-Smith, Secretary
Andrew Stowe, Vice-Chair