Press Release - 09/15/2017

LYNCHBURG, VA – Central Virginia Community College is pleased to announce that Tewodros Maxson has been selected as part of the seventh class of the Valley Proteins Fellows Program, administered by the Virginia Foundation for Community College Education. Mr. Maxson or Teddy, as he prefers to be called, just completed his first year at CVCC, studying full-time in the Associate of Science in Engineering program. His goal is to transfer into the Virginia Tech College of Engineering to study Mechanical Engineering. 

Teddy succeeded in high school and college after coming to America at the start of his sophomore year in high school. Teddy spoke no English, but learned quickly.  Although his sophomore GPA was near a 2.00, by the time he graduated his cumulative GPA was 3.9 and he was succeeding in Advanced Placement (AP) classes in calculus, robotics and physics.  In the spring of his senior year, he received the Hill Climber Award from Lynchburg’s mayor, which recognizes students who have overcome adversity in their lives to excel in school.

Teddy Maxson explained, “As everyone knows, scholarships mean great success for a student, but this scholarship shows me that there is someone out there who saw and appreciated my hard work. In addition to supporting me with my education expenses, this scholarship gave me the opportunity to know more about the community colleges in Virginia and the undergraduate students from community colleges. This scholarship is not just about the money, but it is also about leadership and how to apply that leadership in different situations. With all of this in mind, I would like to thank the Smith family and Virginia’s Community Colleges for the award and recognition.”

Out of the more than 250,000 people Virginia’s Community Colleges serve across the commonwealth each year, only ten second-year students are selected for the Valley Proteins Fellows Program. The scholarship, combined with professional development, travel, and cultural opportunities, has an approximate value of $15,000.

In addition to receiving full tuition, book expenses and fees, the Fellows participate in a unique curriculum of intellectual and cultural activities. The Fellows also volunteer 80 hours of community service during the academic year to strengthen their leadership skills and develop a strong foundation for future success. 

The Fellows Program is made possible thanks to the generous support of Valley Proteins, Inc. The Winchester-based company has been in the rendering business for 68 years and currently operates 15 plants in eight states. 

“Valley Proteins is privileged to invest in the future of some of Virginia's most outstanding students,” said Gerald F. (J.J.) Smith, Jr., president of Valley Proteins, Inc. “Helping to remove some of the obstacles that can hinder their success is a priority for us and it reflects our commitment and support for the community college mission overall.” 

The Virginia Foundation for Community College Education, the fundraising arm of Virginia’s Community Colleges, oversees the fellows program that Valley Proteins has funded for seven consecutive years.

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