Lynchburg couple donates $500,000 to scholarship program for local students

Money will go towards Beacon of Hope’s Stay Close, Go Far scholarship

LYNCHBURG, Va. – High school students in Lynchburg may have better access to higher education thanks to a $500,000 donation.

Local doctor, George Hurt, and his wife, Cinda, gave half a million dollars to Lynchburg Beacon of Hope’s "Stay Close, Go Far” scholarship program.

It helps close the financial gap for students who want to go to a two- or four-year college in the Lynchburg area.

Beacon of Hope leaders said many of the students are first-generation students who could not afford to go to college.

They say the money will go a long way for current and future students in the program.

“For many of our students who can access scholarships financial aid and institution aid, their gap at the end of the day is somewhere between $2,000 to $4,000. So, it really does close the gap,” said Laura Hamilton with Beacon of Hope.

Organizers said that in 2019, they saw a 60% increase of Lynchburg city students enrolled at Central Virginia Community College.

“I think we need to create opportunities for our young people to move ahead,” said George Hurt.