Since establishing the scholarship program in 2000, the Golden LEAF Foundation has provided scholarships to help more than 17,000 rural students attend the state’s community colleges to earn degrees and credentials that will lead to employment. The Golden LEAF Scholarship Program is one component to support the mission of Golden LEAF to help build the rural workforce.
Two-Year Golden LEAF Scholarships are valued at up to $2,250 per school year, including summer term, for curriculum students and up to $1,000 per year for students enrolling in occupational programs.
Two-Year Golden LEAF Scholarship awards can be applied toward tuition, fees, books, supplies at the community college where enrolled, as well as transportation, childcare expenses related to attending classes, and credential testing upon course completion. This scholarship provides students with the funds to gain the knowledge and skills needed to make a good living.
One scholarship recipient, Justin Howell of Mitchell County, grew up on his family farm. When his grandfather passed away, it became his responsibility to run the farm and make the best business decisions possible. In addition to farm work, Howell is employed by the North Carolina Forest Service as a purchasing agent. Howell was the first in his family to go to college, and he had the goal to be the first to get a degree.
When Howell was promoted at his job at the Forest Service, his supervisor wanted him to complete a degree. Howell made the decision to complete a degree in Business Administration at Mayland Community College.
Howell applied for and received a Two-Year Golden LEAF Scholarship to help him reach his goals.
“I want my daughter to know that if you work hard, you can accomplish anything,” said Howell. “This scholarship has allowed me to go to school and not worry so much about finances. It is such a blessing to those of us in rural areas and an investment to our communities.”
Howell plans to use his degree to help him with his current career path. He said he would also like to take the skills that he has learned from college and working on the farm and open his own business in farming and agriculture practices.
Howell will complete his degree in Business Administration in the fall of 2021.
Students attending or planning to attend any of North Carolina’s participating community colleges who reside in a qualifying county and demonstrate financial need are eligible to apply.
Each participating college sets the deadline for the scholarship application. Contact your college’s financial aid office as soon as you plan to enroll to determine application deadlines. To learn more about the Two-Year Golden LEAF Scholarship, click here.