Thursday, August 1, 2019

Outstanding Scholarship Student Series: 

Mark Alexander

150 Scholarships. 427 Awards.

One Application. You can do this.

Last year the Reynolds Foundation funded approximately 150 scholarships, and made awards to 427 students of all ages, backgrounds, and academic standing and interests.

We believe in you. Just like we believed in Kiersten Echols, Janeen McNeish, Katherine Alloway-Roof, and Mark AlexanderThey got scholarships to help fund their education. You can, too.

Mark Alexander

“’I’m never going back to school.’ That was me when I graduated from high school,” admits Mark Alexander now entering his second semester at Reynolds. “It just wasn’t for me. It had been 30 years since I opened a textbook except to help with homework. But, from the very first day I walked through the door at Reynolds to register for classes everybody, especially Mr. Brown at the front desk [downtown campus], has made me feel like I belong here, like school is for me.”

After 15 years in a job that required him to travel constantly, Mark went to work for the City of Richmond. He started at the bottom and steadily worked his way up to a supervisory position. But, without a college education he realized he had gone as far as he could go. He still didn’t want to go back to school. Then he saw the difference in pay, and he said, “It was a no-brainer. I may have thought I was never going back to school. But, I was going back.”

While money was important, far bigger issues drove Mark’s decision. “Being a supervisor is NOT easy,” he says, “I have to deal with all kinds of people with all kinds of problems, and I don’t always know what to do. I want to learn to be better at what I do, to be a good supervisor. I really just want to help people. I want to be that person who inspires others, who helps them see things differently. I want to show them people like me are willing to help them no matter how bad their situation is. I want them to know, no matter how old they are, they can still get a job and start a career, just like me.”

Then there is his family. Mark has three children, and three grandchildren. “We don’t have step kids in our house. Everybody here is family. No labels in front of who you are. By going back to school I want to be an example to them. I want to show them that no matter what you want, if you work hard and stay focused, you can get it.” 

When Mark started at Reynolds in the spring of 2019 he took a part-time job to pay for his classes. Now working two jobs, and helping with his family, Mark still had to find time to study and get back in to the routine of school. “I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and understanding I have gotten at Reynolds. Financial Aid, the Math Lab, Tutoring . . . everyone here has been so patient and so willing to share information and help me. I had begun to think no one in this world had patience anymore! No one ever made me feel uncomfortable at Reynolds. The experience has been terrific.”

And then Mr. Brown helped him again. Mr. Brown encouraged Mark to fill out the Reynolds Scholarship Application. Then, Scholarship Manager Kim Cain called him with the news. For his next semester Mark was awarded an Executive Women International scholarship. Mark takes a deep breath: “This scholarship has made it possible for me to focus on my school work. Now I can give up my second job and have some time to study and do well.” Mark’s goal is to graduate in December 2021 and walk to get his degree in May 2022.

And, after that? “I want to stay with the City and get in to a management position,” Mark says. “With a degree from Reynolds I can get ahead and do what I want to do: help people.”

Want to apply for a Reynolds scholarship?

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and closes Sunday, March 1, 2020.

You can apply for a scholarship through the Reynolds General Scholarship Program or through the Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship Program. 

The Scholarship Application opens Sunday, December 1, 2019 and close Sunday, March 1, 2020. A wide variety of scholarships are available. Some are general, others are for specific programs of study, or are for students living in a particular locality. Current and prospective students can complete and submit one common scholarship application to be considered for all available scholarships. For more information visit:

Reynolds General Scholarship Program
Reynolds Community College offers a variety of scholarships to students with diverse interests and backgrounds. Each year the Reynolds Scholarship Office awards more than half a million dollars in scholarships to eligible students. Awards can range from $100 to $4,000, with the average award being $1,500.  Reynolds scholarships are established by gifts to the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation and awarded by the Reynolds Scholarship Committee.
Community Highlight: Reynolds East End Scholarship
If you live in the East End of the City of Richmond or Henrico County you may be eligible for a scholarship this scholarship. With more than 90 degree and workforce programs, including culinary arts, healthcare, and other credentials for immediate employment or 4-year transfer, Reynolds has a program for you. There is no age limit. Reynolds staff members are available to help with your admission and financial aid applications.