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Shenandoah Valley Academy

About the GHRoW Foundation

The GHRoW Foundation Story

On August 8, 1991 four friends, who met at Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA), were sharing dinner, knowing they wouldn't all be getting together again for some extended time. They talked of how fortunate they had been to attend and graduate from SVA. Having all benefited from the generosity of others to receive a Christian education at SVA, they decided to find a way to give back to SVA - to help worthy students there now. With that thought, each friend contributed $10 and they opened a bank account the next day.

From this beginning, "The GHRoW Foundation" was incorporated in 1993 and recognized by the IRS as a non-profit organization soon thereafter.

Forty dollars grew and soon the first GHRoW Merit Scholarship was awarded to a worthy SVA student in the amount of $1,000. It was apparent that for the scholarships to grow significantly, more people would have to become involved. The GHRoW board has indeed grown in number and the number of supporters of SVA students through GHRoW has increased as well. As a result the scholarships have grown and in 2014-2015 over $40,000 in scholarships were awarded. The scholarship award amounts are determined by the donations received each year and 100% of donations are awarded to the students. The board covers all admin costs. To date, over $350,000 in GHRoW scholarships have been awarded to 102 SVA students.

The GHRoW Foundation and its supporters continue to fulfill its mission by providing a variety of scholarships each year. In response to the need at SVA, GHRoW later established the Jump Start scholarship - a need based scholarship designed to assist students in getting started at SVA. And in December 2008, after the death of Scott Handel (co-founder of GHRoW), an endowment was established to fund a leadership scholarship created in memory of Scott. Today ten or more scholarships are typically awarded annually.

The founders wanted to give back and that continues to drive the direction of GHRoW today. Perhaps nothing illustrates this point better in that today two former GHRoW scholars serve on the board "giving back".

Testimonials from the scholars, parents and SVA staff indicate that you, the supporters of SVA students through the GHRoW Foundation, are making a difference.

Please consider joining us in making a difference in the futures of young people at Shenandoah Valley Academy.

Read the GHRoW Foundation Annual Report(PDF).