Many donors have chosen to honor a loved one, alma mater, community or profession by establishing scholarship endowments. CFWNC currently manages 50 scholarship funds.

The 2023 scholarship cycle awarded $558,000 to 96 students. Contact our staff to discuss contributing to an existing scholarship fund or creating a scholarship endowment.

Nancy Membreno, a first-generation college student attending UNC Chapel Hill, was awarded the Marilyn Lester and William Lester Scholarship, valued at $40,000 over four years. "I found everything about college intimidating, but I wanted to prioritize scholarships. Receiving the Lester Scholarship, brought me relief over my financial situation and demonstrated that people believe I can succeed in college and beyond." Photo courtesy of Nancy Membreno.

How Programs are Awarded

Scholarships are open to North Carolina residents who are public high school seniors, who attend the NC School of Science and Mathematics or the UNC School of the Arts High School or who study in a home school registered with the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education. There are programs open to private high school students in Buncombe County, and programs open to students already in college or who are employees or children of employees of certain area corporations. Scholarships may be applied to a nonprofit postsecondary two- or four-year college, university, or vocational school in the United States, unless otherwise specified in the relevant fund agreement.

CFWNC ensures that all scholarship recipients are selected on an objective and nondiscriminatory basis and that selections are based on specific guidelines and criteria for each fund.

Eligibility Requirements

Review the list of available scholarships and eligibility requirements to be sure you qualify. In addition, applicants must demonstrate:

  • Financial need (unless otherwise noted)
  • Academic achievement or potential (based on class rank, GPA and SAT scores)
  • A history of active participation in school activities, community service, extracurricular involvement, and/or work experience
  • Strong moral character

You must meet the above criteria in addition to any further eligibility requirements stated for specific programs.

Photo courtesy of William Windsor.

Meet William Windsor

Having graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, I would like to thank you once again for the Nathaniel Ellis Cannady, Jr. Scholarship. I am immensely grateful for the support of my aspirations and for having recognized my passion and potential. In addition to my studies, I was very active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineering NCSU Student Section and served as Section Chair my junior and senior years. As Section Chair, I gained invaluable leadership and management skills as well as opportunities to travel across the county to conferences and competitions. Additionally, during my time at NCSU, I was able to take advantage of a host of cultural opportunities, University Honors Program classes, as well as entrepreneurship learning experiences that helped me gain business skills and industry knowledge. My journey has broadened my scope of scientific knowledge, technical skills, and increased my capacity to address complex and multidisciplinary problems. The pandemic improved my ability to readily adapt and adjust to evolving situations, and my relationships with peers and professors have enriched me beyond measure. Overall, I am strengthened in confidence and experience as I prepare for future adventures and exploration. I am very excited about my next steps prior to returning to school within the year to begin pursuing a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering. While setting off to explore and have new adventures I will be forever grateful for the opportunities and growth that were made possible by CFWNC and the Nathaniel Ellis Cannady, Jr. Scholarship.

Contact Scholarship Officer Lezette Parks at 828-367-9909

Browse through our full directory of scholarships.