DURHAM — In September 2018 Hurricane Florence devastated many parts of Eastern North Carolina, creating an estimated $17 billion in damage from which many counties are still recovering. To honor the first responders who bravely assisted their neighbors and who continue to serve their communities every day, WGU North Carolina worked with the North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs to establish the Eastern North Carolina First Responders Scholarship.
The scholarship, valued at $2,000, will be available to an active EMT, firefighter or police officer working east of I-95. The scholarship winner will receive a tuition credit of $500 per six-month term, renewable for up to four terms. The deadline to apply is September 15, 2019, around the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Florence. More information, and the scholarship application, can be found online at www.wgu.edu/ENC.
“We had scheduled a WGU anniversary celebration in Wilmington that was cancelled due to Hurricane Florence,” said WGU North Carolina Chancellor Catherine Truitt. “Rather than reschedule the event, we thought better use of the money would be to establish the Eastern North Carolina First Responders Scholarship as a means of thanking those who put their lives on the line during and after the hurricane.”
WGU North Carolina is the state affiliate of Western Governors University, an accredited online university offering more than 60 bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in business, I.T., education and healthcare. The university has more than 121,000 students currently enrolled nationwide, including more than 3,200 in North Carolina. Tuition is about $3,225 per six-month term for most degree programs.
“Many communities Down East were hit very hard last hurricane season, creating much hardship and providing a major challenge for first responders in the region,” said Jake Whisnant, executive director, North Carolina Association of Fire Chiefs. “We are grateful to WGU North Carolina for recognizing their sacrifice and dedication, and for establishing this scholarship.”