The foundation’s primary educational program is the annual Achievement and Scholarship Awards program held in Fairfax County. Students in grades 7 through 12 from participating schools, who achieved a grade point average of 3.0 to 3.49, received Certificates of Meritorious Achievement for their academic performance. Students in grades 7 through 12, who achieved a grade point average of 3.5 to 4.0, received Outstanding Student Awards. In addition to the certificate awards, the foundation also awards monetary scholarships to selected graduating seniors who best exemplified the spirit and goals of the foundation.
The Paul Robeson Saturday Academy has served as a priority initiative for the JGH Foundation. In partnership with George Mason University (GMU) and the GMU African and African American Studies Program, the foundation’s Saturday Academy has served as a rigorous academic, social enrichment and self-empowering program for 8th through 12th grade students. It is comprised of 6-week sessions in the Fall, Spring and Summer months from 9am to 2pm focusing on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Robotics, Mentoring, and Cultural and Diversity Sensitivity. Reading, writing, research, critical thinking, and study skills are also emphasized. Students and families also received guidance in the social and emotional issues related to excelling in advanced placement courses and matriculating into college.
The foundation donates funds to other organizations working in the community to develop our youth. Consideration for financial support is given to organizations with programs focusing on the development of elementary age youth in preparation for success in high school and beyond.
The Joyce Gillespie Harris Educational and Charitable Foundation also gives back to the community by supporting two annual initiatives during the holiday season. We assist in providing nutritious meals to families in Reston and Virginia during the Thanksgiving holiday and Christmas toys to hundreds of underprivileged children in the Reston, Virginia area through our Toys-4-Kids Christmas program.
Lastly, the foundation provides sponsorship for students to participate in the Leadership Development Institute (LDI) which focuses on developing future leaders. This program is operated by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.