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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 number of donors grow every year and come from SVA alumni, friends and supporters of Adventist education. Scholarship awards typically total over $30,000 annually and the award amount is determined by the donations received each year. 100% of donations are awarded to the students and the GHRoW board covers all administrative costs. Over $435,000 in GHRoW scholarships have been awarded to 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).