This September, Vernell Springs was chosen as the first recipient of the Mazie S. Woodruff Scholarship. Forsyth Tech announced the establishment of this scholarship at the Mazie Woodruff Center’s Black History Month Celebration on February 23.
The new scholarship honors the life and legacy of Mazie Spencer Woodruff, the first African American elected to the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Woodruff was a devoted public servant and community activist, and was responsible for gaining support to build the Carver School Road Library, where the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, a satellite campus of Forsyth Tech, is also located. She received awards such as the Winston-Salem Chronicle Woman of the Year in 1998, the Sara Lee Service Award in 1990, and Outstanding County Commissioner by the National Association of Black County Officials in 1996.
The scholarship is awarded to a second-year student at the Mazie S. Woodruff Center enrolled in at least one course who maintains a 3.0 GPA. Like Woodruff herself, the scholarship’s recipient must exemplify a commitment to academics as well as his or her community.
The inaugural recipient, Ms. Springs, is a strong student who is committed to volunteering in the Winston-Salem community through the North Carolina Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic and Experiment in Self Reliance, and has received numerous awards for her service such as the Winston-Salem Symphony Volunteer of the Month in 2016 and the Vivian Burke We Care Award in 2015. Ms. Springs currently takes four classes at Forsyth Tech in addition to caring for her disabled husband and serving as an intern at Crisis Control Ministries.
The Mazie S. Woodruff Center began with an initial goal of $2,500 to establish the scholarship. Since February, $5,000 has been raised. Currently the recipient is awarded $500 per school year, but the ultimate goal is to secure enough funds to endow the scholarship to ensure its longevity, which at Forsyth Tech requires raising $25,000. Forsyth Tech, together with the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, believes that the creation of this scholarship will continue to eliminate barriers and increase literacy for minority students in Forsyth County. “I am glad that we decided to establish this scholarship because there are literacy gaps in Forsyth County and our hope and aim is to help close those gaps,” said Director of the Mazie S. Woodruff Center, TerCraig Edwards.
Gifts towards the Mazie S. Woodruff Center Scholarship can be received online at foundation.forsythtech.edu.