HAMLET — Sharp Business Systems General Manager Lavern Schultz made a $10,000 donation to Richmond Community College Foundation’s Working Scholarship, which helps students who are working and going to college at the same time.
“This generous donation from Mr. Schultz puts us two-thirds of the way to our goal of reaching $30,000 for the Working Scholarship,” said foundation Director Olivia Webb.
The Working Scholarship was created in response to working students and families who were being denied full state and federal financial aid options because they were earning a living. The scholarship is available to individuals who work at least 10 hours per week.
Schultz, a Rockingham native, is well aware of the impact the college has within the community. His daughter, Lauren Taylor, who is a senior account executive with Sharp Business Systems, is a graduate of RCC.
“Many of my employees have received some type of skills training or credentialing through the college,” said Schultz, who took a blueprint reading class at the college when he was in his 20s and working for a plumbing, heating and air company. “This donation is a way for me to give back to those who have helped me to get where I am and also has helped many others.”
Dr. Dale McInnis, president of RichmondCC, said it is business and community leaders like Schultz who make the scholarship possible.
“We have received an outpouring of support for the Working Scholarship that helps students who are helping themselves,” McInnis said. “We appreciate Lavern and all the others who give to the Working Scholarship, which often determines whether a student stays enrolled to complete their education in a timely manner.”
Schultz’s career in office supplies started 29 years ago when he bought two typewriters at an auction for $100.
“I took them home, cleaned them up, got them working and sold them,” Schultz said. “The next time I went to the auction, I took $200 and I bought four typewriters, which again I cleaned up and sold.”
These first sales were the start to his company, Sandhills Office Systems, before he merged with Sharp Business Systems. Schultz has been a business partner of RichmondCC for many years, supplying the college with office copiers, printers and other equipment.
“The Working Scholarship is a great for students who are working their way through college and getting an education to grow their careers,” Schultz said.
Wylie D. Bell is director of marketing and communications for Richmond Community College.