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Bushrod foundation touches the lives of 24 area students

Living true to its mantra of building tomorrow’s leaders today, the Visualize & Rize Foundation recently touched the lives of 24 Fredericksburg area college-bound students. On Saturday, at Brock’s Riverside Grill, in downtown Fredericksburg, accompanied by a contingent of family and foundation supporters, two-time Pro Bowl, Chicago Bear and Superbowl Champion, Jermon Bushrod handed out scholarships totaling $12,000.

In its third year, the program received the largest corps of recipients ever. High school students came from near and far to bask in the limelight of a professional football player, while representing the following schools: James Monroe, Colonial Beach, Washington & Lee, Caroline, Brooke Point, Riverbend, and King George.
With each $500 scholarship, students will be given an opportunity to purchase the college supplies needed to help them achieve their collegiate dreams.

Inspired by an offensive line coach in college, Bushrod remembers the importance of dedication, while taking the necessary steps to get there. “He said if you ever want to accomplish anything in life, you have to visualize it,” Bushrod said. “You have to dream about it, and figure out ways to get there.”

Colonial Beach High School senior Nicholas Hipple intends to use his financial resources towards his tuition and books, while attending Virginia Wesleyan College. “This scholarship is definitely going to be a big help to me next year, because I am going to attend a private school with all sorts of extra expenses,” Hipple said. “I am very excited that Mr. Bushrod and his foundation took the time to consider me for this scholarship.”

Every year a panel of foundation board members, made up of educators, coaches, and business leaders make the difficult decision on what student is worthy of receiving the coveted scholarship. Thrilled to receive the foundation’s assistance, King George High School senior, Christian Porter said, “This scholarship means a lot, because every bit of it will help. I’ve been applying for scholarships like crazy, and so far, I’ve only received two.”

Bushrod along with a host of golf enthusiasts from the world of professional sports, business, law enforcement, and high school sports will return for the fourth annual golf tournament at Cameron Hills Golf Course, on June 13.  The golf tournament is the primary financial benefactor for the foundation’s scholarship program.

Aware of the economic hardships that many families face, Bushrod said, “Our goal at Visualize & Rize is to take some of the financial burden off of students, and their families.”

On the following day, the foundation will host its fourth football camp, on June 14.  A sea of kids, ages, 6-14 will flood the KGHS stadium, going from station to station, as they learn and practice the fundamentals associated with football. Bushrod will be assisted by area coaches, KGHS varsity football players and celebrity NFL players. Establish in 2010, the camp is used to provide a recreational outlet for 300 plus kids each year. Funds raised from the camp will be used to buy updated equipment for the KGHS football program.

Other programs derived from the foundation include a shopping trip for at risk children, and a holiday gift distribution to families in need. “Watching kids run through the Target department store, picking up gifts for their siblings, families, before picking up something for themselves is a heart warming experience,” Bushrod said.

2014 Visualize & Rize recipients included: (King George High School) John Buckner, III; Jaylen Brinson; Samantha Fedak; Justin Halter; Michael Johnson, II; Anna Kniceley; Christian Porter; Patricia Shippee; Hunter Tolliver; Kathryn Strauss; Eleni Johnson; (Brooke Point High School) Robert Walker; Mollie Clay; (Caroline High School) Bo Hayes; Kapri Armstead; (Washington & Lee High School) Victoria Minor, Milan Bullock; (Colonial Beach High School) Nicholas Hipple, Taylor Lee; (James Monroe High School) Danielle Bumbrey; Jamal Wallace; Luke Browning; (Riverbend) Carmen Beverly, Ashley Vines.

Leonard Banks
Sports editor

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