Valerie Lea Keller
July 7,1963 ~ October 22,2005
The GET A GRIP Scholarship program has been created
as a memorial to Valerie Keller who strongly supported a philosophy
of making education available for every child. She believed in the
unlimited potential in every student - being fully aware that some kids
just needed a financial push to “get a grip” on a better life. Valerie’s husband,
Greg, and daughters, Alecsa and McKenna, continue to carry on her
message of success through education by creating this scholarship
program and taking an active roll in this program’s development.
A generally accepted adage that helps determine addiction problems within a family is- “if you want to know if there is a problem, ask the children”. Young children have a basic honesty and have not yet learned the “skills” of being a good enabler. Growing up in a dysfunctional environment where addictions influence almost all of the decisions made in the family is a situation that “steals” the innocence of childhood. Being a victim of child abuse, parental addiction, witnessing spousal abuse forces a child to protect themselves and their siblings by quickly becoming the mature family member without enjoying the simplicity of their own childhood. Is there any question as to why these children may not do well in school? When a child assumes the responsibility of one, or both, parents because of their addictions, accountability to school and passing grades is hardly that child’s priority.
If these children are capable of staying in school and reaching High School graduation, in most cases they are “average” or “below average” students academically. They will not qualify for continuing their education with academic scholarships and, in most cases, their financial needs cannot be met by their parents. As victims of another person’s addictions, these students need the opportunity to “get a grip” on their own lives and achieve their own successes.
NCSGAR recognizes the students that are directly impacted by dysfunctions within their families and yet have completed an almost unreachable goal of graduating from High School. Whatever their grade point average reflects, it does not demonstrate the amount of effort and courage required to reach this academic level. Many employers will agree that they would rather give a job to someone that already shows a good work ethic as opposed to an applicant that had never experienced academic or social pressures.
What about the students that are working hard to stay in school but find themselves falling behind the rest of their class? NCSGAR believes that these students also need help to “get a grip” on their educational process. There are many qualified tutoring programs that can help students with specific academic problems and provide training for good study habits. NCSGAR intends to have tutoring scholarships available for grade school, junior high, and high school levels with the goal of improving graduation success rates.
Although our primary concerns with education are the children of families with addiction problems, NCSGAR does strongly consider scholarships when recovery is a significant part of the student’s family background. Parents with a strong history of recovery are not “penalized” because they are abstinent, clean, or sober. NCSGAR is interested in helping students with recovering parents as well.
Scholarships are not limited to only those students with addiction problems in their history. Consideration will be made for “average” students that meet the criteria established by this charity. Children of active duty military personnel will also be reviewed. Scholarships that may be applied for include college, junior college, trade school and any educational program that is fully detailed in the applicant’s letter of intent. Dates posted at the start of this section reflect only the scholarships being considered for students completing high school. Tutoring requests for students in grade school, junior high, or high school may be submitted anytime. Any and all scholarship requests must follow the process listed below.
To begin the request process, a letter of intent must be sent that fully details the nature of the scholarship. Please be as specific as possible with all details and background.
Student details (age,address phone, present school, grade point average, etc.)
History ( explain how you qualify for the stated criteria)
Specific amount requested:
Name of school wishing to attend – name of tutoring service (all names and phone numbers of contact people at specific school or service)
Explain family financial position
Address or e-mail for replies from charity
If letter of intent is accepted by NCSGAR, the next step in the process is an application that will be sent directly to the student. All specific details included in the letter of intent and the application MUST be verifiable. Any information that is unsubstantiated or misleading will void the entire process. Further details and requirements will be sent with the application forms that describe the remaining process for approval.
Mail letter of intent to:
9915 West Bell Road
Sun City, Arizona 85351
Donations may be mailed to the address also!