Fairmont, W.Va. – On Tuesday, the Pierpont Foundation accepted a $5,000 donation to establish the Hannah Walker Scholarship Fund, benefitting students with intellectual disabilities in the PRIDE Academy.

Through a Benedum Foundation grant, the PRIDE Academy was established in the fall 2022.  This postsecondary transition program provides students with additional support in life skills training and opportunities to participate in job-related field exploration.

“Everybody deserves the opportunity to experience further education,” said Dr. Darin Walker, director of the PRIDE Academy. “The PRIDE Academy has very small classes and has the opportunity to focus on the skills needed for each student.”

The scholarship, named in honor of PRIDE Academy graduate Hannah Walker, was received by Pierpont Foundation Board Chair Rusty Elliott and Foundation Director Kathy Hypes during a ceremony at Pierpont Community & Technical College’s Advanced Technology Center.

“Neither traditional financial aid nor most scholarships apply to our students,” said Walker. “I would be devastated to find a potential student did not apply to the PRIDE Academy out of financial necessity.  My daughter, Hannah, was the first student to apply and finished her first year and is ready to start the optional second year.  Hannah’s grandmother set up a school savings account when she was born. We established this scholarship to help other families provide their adult children with the college experience.”

“The Foundation supports Pierpont by acquiring donations to provide the financial assistance students need to further their education and occupational skills,” added Hypes. “Today’s generous gift will have an immediate impact on our PRIDE Academy students.”

If you would like to donate to support a general scholarship fund or establish a scholarship fund for a specific program or group of individuals, please call Pierpont Foundation Director Kathy Hypes at 304-247-9835 or email khypes@pierpont.edu.