Guest post from Virginia Bioscience Foundation Chair, Jim Powers.
Dear Virginia Bio Members,
I am writing to request your participation in the 2022 Jeff Gallagher Scholarship Fund, sponsored by the Virginia Bioscience Foundation. The objective of the fund is to stimulate interest in the biosciences from K-12 disadvantaged students in Virginia. When the fund was originally created in honor of Virginia Bio’s past CEO, Jeffrey Gallagher in 2019, the Foundation made donations to a handful of Virginia universities that ran summer science camps for disadvantaged middle and high school students. Covid-19 protocols, however, have greatly diminished activity during the past two years.
In anticipation of a much-improved health environment in 2022, many universities and other organizations are enthusiastically ramping up their in-person activities. George Mason University, which sponsors FOCUS, is significantly expanding its summer science camp for middle-school, disadvantaged women of color to include teacher training and Saturday classes during the fall school season. Virginia Tech is planning a regional outreach to surrounding communities to attract disadvantaged middle school students to attend summer science camps. And we’ve met with a group called Future Kings, a privately led organization focused on training and mentoring disadvantaged students beginning in grammar school. In the coming months, we will be meeting with other universities and groups planning similar activities.
Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 to fund several/all of these initiatives to expose young, disadvantaged students to biosciences and encourage the pursuit of bioscience careers. We plan to conclude this year’s fundraising at the Virginia Bio THRiVE conference in April, although we may begin to pay out some funds earlier so that these organizations can plan ahead. I have donated $5,000 personally to the 2022 Gallagher Fund and Virginia Bio has generously matched that amount. John Newby and Frank Wilton have also agreed to donate, so we have already passed $10,000 in funding. The more we raise, the more meaningful our support will be.
I ask all of you and/or your companies to consider a donation. You can make your check payable to the Virginia Bioscience Foundation with a note to the Gallagher Fund and send to the attention of Caron Trumbo. If you have any questions or know of any programs we should be speaking with, then please let us know!
Thank you for your generosity. Jeff Gallagher will be very proud to know that we continue to support his passion for this much-needed initiative. We wish you and your families a healthy and happy Holiday Season.
CEO, HemoShear Therapeutics
Chair, Virginia Bioscience Foundation