Danielle Wilfong earned the Kep & Alice Smith Memorial 4-year Scholarship in 2013.
This is her story.

Danielle Wilfong: My name is Danielle Wilfong and I’m from Hambleton, West Virginia, Tucker County.

I received my scholarship in 2013, my senior year of high school. It was the Kep & Alice Memorial Scholarship from the Tucker Community Foundation. I probably wouldn’t have gone to college without it. It funded my college a lot and I wasn’t going to go to college unless it was paid for. I had so many scholarships left over that I got a refund from the school so I was able to pay for my rent when I lived there or my books, or gas money – whatever it was because I commuted my last semester at WVU. So without the scholarship, I wouldn’t have gone to college and I wouldn’t be in the job that I’m in now.

Well, I’m actually working full time now and getting my Master’s online. I work for the United States government – Department of Justice. So that’s my plan right now.

If I could meet Kep & Alice, who were the donors of my scholarship, I would tell them thank you for giving me the opportunity to stay in my hometown of Tucker County and further my education because that’s not the common in this rural area. I’m very grateful for their donation.

Well I know, from just my small friend group that the Foundation has given at least six of my friends scholarships to college. Some have graduated and some are still going. They are all from Tucker County so it’s really giving our youth a chance to broaden our knowledge.

I also know that the Tucker Community Foundation does the Run For It in Davis which I think is really great. Tucker County Young Life, which I was a part of when I was in high school, they have a Run For It team. They are able to raise a lot of money through it. So I think that they really better Tucker County which I’m grateful for because I love the place that I live.

I do know that as far as graduate stuff: I got my bachelor’s degree in two years from West Virginia University and I was able to carry that scholarship into my Master’s. But I do know that if your scholarship was only one year, you can apply for another one and they just follow you throughout your whole education. I think that that’s really great. They are not giving up on you because a lot of times as you continue your education it gets harder and harder to pay for it. So it seems like they care and want to make people succeed.