Two St. Mary’s County families recently joined efforts to provide $10,000 to the College of Southern Maryland (CSM) Foundation and establish the Grace and Rich Fuller Family Scholarship for the Trades. The new scholarship, a combined gift from Richard and Grace Fuller and James and Yachiyo Wallace, both of Lexington Park, will provide financial assistance for tuition, fees, books and other related supplies to St. Mary’s County residents enrolled in a skilled trades program.
“The Fuller and Wallace families’ gift is an amazing display of generosity,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “This scholarship will change lives. We are deeply touched and honored by their heartfelt donation.”
“We were taught to do what we can do to help the next generation,” shared Grace Fuller during a recent tour of CSM’s Regional Hughesville Campus, Center for Trades and Energy Training (CTET). “America is so full of opportunity and we are grateful we can do our little part to help students in need.”
The Fullers moved to St. Mary’s County more than 30 years ago as part of Rich’s career in the Navy and raised their two sons in Southern Maryland. After Rich retired from the Navy, the Fullers became part owners in the Port of Leonardtown Winery, and spend much of their time volunteering in the community – including at a local soup kitchen in St. Mary’s County.
“We have seen some people who have no hope,” Grace explained of the clients she helps at the soup kitchen. “And that is what we want to give people in our community who have fallen on hard times: We want to give them hope. Skilled trades are an honorable, needed and honest profession.”
When they decided to create this scholarship, Grace said, their neighbors James and Yachiyo Wallace wanted to help by matching funds. “We are grateful to them,” she said of the Wallace family. “They are wonderful friends.”
To be eligible for assistance, the student(s) must be a resident of St. Mary’s County; possess a high school diploma or its equivalent; demonstrate financial need; and be enrolled in a skilled trades program. Applicants are required to submit an essay describing any hardships or obstacles they have faced and how this scholarship will help them achieve their goals. In addition, the scholarship recipient must write a thank you note explaining the importance of this scholarship toward their educational goals.
The Fullers said they hope that students who receive this assistance will become mentors to those who follow them in the trades and that they will someday pay it forward by contributing to support the Grace and Rich Fuller Family Scholarship for the Trades.
About CSM Foundation
The CSM Foundation is the nonprofit charitable organization and fundraising arm of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM). Comprised of an all-volunteer board of directors, the CSM Foundation creates relationships to benefit the college and raises funds to support students and college initiatives, promoting scholarships, programs, technology, professional development and special projects.