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Beacon of Hope extends deadline for Stay Close, Go Far Scholarship

Lynchburg Beacon of Hope is reopening the application process for its Stay Close, Go Far Scholarship, which is available to local students who plan to attend Randolph or one of the nonprofit’s other local college or technical school partners.

Citing the uncertainty surrounding the college planning process due to COVID-19, the nonprofit has set a new deadline for July 15 and scheduled a virtual information session at 6 p.m. Thursday for students, parents, and guardians.

The scholarship, created in partnership with the city to increase access to college and technical school, will now be offered on a semester-by-semester basis. It’s not need or merit-based, but offers last-dollar scholarships to Lynchburg City Schools graduates from the classes of 2019-2024 who choose to pursue their education locally.

Laura Hamilton, Beacon of Hope’s executive director, said they’d already worked with school counselors and the administrative teams at Heritage and E.C. Glass high schools to ensure that their students could pursue college or certification programs, regardless of the pandemic. But now, in late June, many students are unsure of what the fall semester will hold for them.

With the landscape constantly changing, reopening the application process will offer another opportunity for them.

“It is our hope that the hundreds of students who are coming out of E.C. Glass and Heritage recognize that it is this incredible community which has invested in their futures and in our collective future,” Hamilton said. “Stay Close, Go Far is so important for our individual students and their families, but it is even more important for the Lynchburg community.”

Hamilton said they’re already seeing a significant increase in student enrollment in Stay Close, Go Far for 2020 and will have more than 350 Lynchburg graduates enrolled at partner institutions this fall.

To register for the virtual information session, visit

More information about the scholarship can be found on Beacon of Hope’s website.

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