Portrait of Sharon McGraw

McGraw earns Finish Line Grant

Sharon McGraw, a Blue Ridge student and an Emergency Management major, is also a recipient of one of the College’s Finish Line Grants, which gave her a hand up when she needed it most.

Finish Line Grants are given to students after a variety of events take place in their lives that hinder their completion of coursework. These can include everything from a flat tire to a natural disaster, and cover up to $1,000 per student per Program Year (July 1 – June 30).

For McGraw, college was going fine in her classes and her job as a library work study until her car’s brakes started weakening. While getting them inspected by Pressley Automotive, they also noticed that one of her tires was bald and needed replacing.

Receiving her grant in November 2019, she describes the feeling upon getting it as similar to winning the lottery.

“I was thinking ‘pinch me.’ I just couldn’t believe it,’” McGraw said.

The ease at which she received her Finish Line Grant was a cause of disbelief for her family and friends, who found it hard to believe that a College would help students financially during unforeseen life events.

She now encourages any student who may be struggling through a difficult time to consider applying for one of the grants, as they may be surprised at their eligibility.

“Through this grant, you’re going to be empowered to complete the goals your instructors have laid out for you. This isn’t a handout; it’s a hand up,” she added.

To apply for a Finish Line Grant, contact the NCWorks Career Center on the Henderson County Campus (Continuing Education building) or the Transylvania County Campus (Straus Building).

If approved, an NCWorks Career Center Advisor will handle payments. Funds will not be distributed directly to the student, but to the entity providing the service for the student.

Unexpected circumstances could happen to anyone at any time, which can be incredibly stressful. Thankfully, Blue Ridge’s Finish Line Grants exist to help you focus on your future, rather than your current predicament.