is flourishing in fourth year
October 07, 2008 @ 11:25
Robert Foglesong, founder and CEO of Appalachian Leadership
and Education Foundation, meets monthly with scholarship winners,
which attend Concord, Marshall and Shepherd universities. Foglesong
was at Marshall this week to talk with (from left) Jese Vance,
Paul Cyrus and Bryan Adkins. (not pictured: Lauren Keller)
HUNTINGTON -- Bryan
Adkins will be the first to say that he's not sure he'd be a successful
sophomore engineering student at Marshall University had it not
been for the Appalachian Leadership and Education Foundation.
ALEF, founded in 2006
by Mingo County native and retired U.S. Air Force General Robert
Foglesong, is a scholarship program designed to provide financial
support to graduating seniors who have demonstrated academic and
leadership abilities but lack the economic means to pay for school.
"I graduated tied
for the top of my class (at Tolsia High School), and I was eligible
for other scholarships," Adkins said. "But that would
have run out and my family (couldn't help). If not for ALEF, I wouldn't
be doing what I'm doing."
Applications for the class of 2009 will be available Oct. 15 on
the organizations Web site, www.alefwv.com. Foglesong, who was at
Marshall last week meeting with the engineering program's four scholarship
recipients, said he wants high school seniors to know the scholarship
program is very different from any other out there. The process
includes a thorough application, followed by an interview that includes
a sit-down with the student as well as parents. Students must have
at least a 2.8 grade point average, demonstrate financial need and
many, Foglesong said, have overcome personal challenges and have
"They have an economic need, academic agility and leadership
skills," Foglesong said of those accepted into the program.
"Our hope is these students will be the next leaders in our
There have been 45 recipients
to date, and Foglesong said he would like to have no more than 55
attending the three university partners -- Marshall, Concord and
Shepherd -- at any one time because the personal relationships he
builds with the students, as well as the relationships the students
build between each other, are part of what makes the program different.
"We never want
to get too big that we don't know each fellow by their first name,"
Foglesong said. "What we tell them is 'We're with you.'"
Foglesong said the students
are guaranteed enough money to get them through four years of college.
That might be in addition to other scholarships and grants, or it
may be the total amount for tuition, books and room and board. The
bottom line, he said, is ALEF promises four years.
The scholarship recipients also participate, albeit voluntarily,
in service projects set up by the foundation. Besides community
service, the fellows also can work with the Pride Program, which
sends college students to schools to talk to students about character.
Adkins said he is grateful to be an ALEF fellow, especially when
he thinks about the support he and others have received from Foglesong
and former resource development director Pamela Scaggs.
Adkins said. "They definitely treat us right and provide us
the opportunity to meet with other scholarship winners. When you
see other people caring about you, it provides extra motivation
There are nine fellows
from the surrounding area, and four -- Bryan Adkins, Paul Cyrus,
Jese Vance and Lauren Keller -- who attend Marshall University.
For more information, visit www.alefwv.com or call 866-540-2533.