Six people and a large check for $20000
Jamie Styons and Jacob Hering (center) are the first recipients of the Louise R. Lester Foundation Scholarship. BCCC president Dave Loope (second from right) receives the donation from Barry Robertson, board member of the Lester Foundation.

Louise R. Lester Foundation Donates $20,000 for Scholarships

The Beaufort County Community College Foundation awarded two students the first Louise R. Lester Foundation Scholarships. Jacob Hering and Jamie Styons, both electrical engineering technology students, can continuing studying toward careers in local industry thanks to a $20,000 donation from the Lester Foundation. This donation follows the Lester Foundation’s $10,000 donation this spring. Some of the funds are immediately available for scholarships, while the majority of it will be invested in an endowment to fund future scholarships. This donation continues the Louise R. Lester Foundation’s long commitment to education.

Jacob Hering returned to college after working as a manager at Aldi’s. The Washington resident holds an associate’s degree from Minnesota State College Southeast. He plans to work in local industry with PLC coding. The scholarship will help him take summer classes. He will be a BCCC ambassador starting in the fall and currently works at Lowe’s.

Jamie Styons hopes to continue his family’s history of working with Domtar. If the Plymouth resident is employed there after he receives his Associate of Applied Science in Electrical Engineering Technology, he will join four generations of his family who have worked at the Weyerhaeuser or Domtar plant in Plymouth.

“These students are heading in right direction with manufacturing,” said Barry Robertson, board member of the Louise R. Lester Foundation. “They’re learning to code and operate the machines that form the backbone of modern manufacturing. Companies are excited to hire employees who can navigate these systems.”

Founded in 2001, the Louse R. Lester Foundation builds on the charitable works of Mrs. Louise Robertson Lester. Lester was a native of Martinsville, Va., and attended Bentley Business College, Gassaway Business College, and, later in life, Patrick Henry Community College and Averett College. She studied interior design, architecture and art. She was an accomplished artist, producing beautiful paintings, and a collection of her poetry has been published under the title of her life’s motto, “Life, Love and Laughter.”

Promoting education and recreation, Lester served on the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation Board, establishing the Victor A. and Louise Robertson Lester Library. She set up various trusts and scholarships at the University of Virginia, Averett College, Ferrum College and the Spencer-Penn School. She also served on the Averett College Board of Trustees.

The Louise R. Lester Foundation seeks to effect positive change in the communities and lives of the people who are served through its philanthropic support. They seek to build effective relationships with grantees through close communication and a willingness to understand the challenges they face.

The BCCC Foundation works with individual donors and foundations to solicit and distribute grants to cover tuition and books. Ambassadors speak at public events, help with recruitment and fundraisers and are the face of Beaufort County Community College. Last year the BCCC Foundation distributed over $137,000 in scholarships to students.