Byrum 'Give Back' scholarship gains endowment status

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Madelyn Marie Byrum had just completed her freshman year at Perquimans High School when she tragically died of injuries sustained in an ATV accident in June 2016. A scholarship was formed in her honor and has now reached endowment status thanks to community support.


From staff reports

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Madelyn Marie Byrum “Those Who Give Back” Scholarship has reached full endowment thanks to assistance from students, friends, business partners and family members of Madelyn.

The contributions in memory of Madelyn now total more than $10,000, allowing the endowed scholarship to provide The Perquimans County Schools Foundation with a permanent asset from which students can receive support. The endowment becomes a fund managed by the foundation, whose investment objective is to achieve growth that is sufficient to preserve the value of the original scholarship so the annual award is not diminished by inflation.

"The minimum principal balance required to establish an endowed scholarship is $10,000, which will generate a $500 annual scholarship," said Foundation President Bob Clinkscales. "The endowed scholarship program continues to grow because of interest in encouraging and empowering our future leaders. As higher education costs continue to climb, today’s students have a greater need for financial assistance. This marks the fourth endowment for the Perquimans County Schools Foundation,” he said.

Madelyn Marie Byrum had just completed her freshman year at Perquimans High School when she tragically died of injuries sustained in an ATV accident in June 2016.

Madelyn was the daughter of Paul Matthew Byrum, Jr. and Carrie Bridgers Byrum. In addition to her parents, she is survived by her brother, Branson Matthew Byrum and grandparents Robin and Warren Bridgers and Deborah and Paul Byrum.

According to the foundation’s Executive Director Brenda Lassiter, an initial contribution of $500 was received in memory of Madelyn to create the scholarship back in September. Following media coverage that the Red Hat Club had reached out to the foundation to create a scholarship for students attending Perquimans High School, other contributions began to flow.

Approximately $5,500 had been received by the foundation (all designated for the scholarship honoring Madelyn's memory), when special friends and family stepped in to ensure the scholarship was endowed, Lassiter said.

"Naming the endowed scholarship is an opportunity to memorialize a loved one, friend or classmate," said Lassiter. "It is a honor and privilege to work with the Foundation Board to create this endowed account in Madelyn's memory. Madelyn was a sweet, well-respected and amazing young lady who always had a smile on her face. She would light up a room with her positive energy and contagious personality, always being upbeat and inspiring to others," Lassiter said. "This scholarship will help keep the memory of Madelyn alive while also improving the life of someone else --- forever."

Awards from the endowment will be made annually to deserving students according to the scholarship guidelines, with the first scholarship being awarded on Monday, April 3, at the Annual Scholarship Event for the School Foundation.

The scholarship will be given to a PCHS student with a 3.0 GPA who will enroll in a community college or 4-year college or university and who has been actively involved in their community and school. An essay is required with the scholarship application, requiring the student to write how he or she has given back to the community and why they deemed it important.

Subsequent donations may be contributed at any time in any amount to the Madelyn Marie Byrum (Those Who Give Back) Scholarship by sending their contribution to Perquimans County Schools Foundation, Inc., PO Box 337, Hertford, NC 27944 and earmark it Madelyn Byrum Scholarship. As the endowed account grows, so will the annual award to students.