Patrick & Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund Awards $11,000 in Scholarships

JULY 27, 2018

The St. Croix Foundation is pleased to announce $11,000 in   scholarships awarded to three St. Croix graduates on Thursday, July 26 at St. Croix Foundation’s headquarters in Sunday Market Square through the Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund.

The Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Fund was established by Junior Gaspard and his family in honor of his grandparents, Patrick and Amelia Williams, whose work ethic, determination, and expectation of excellence led to educational opportunities for multiple generations. The Patrick and Amelia Williams Opportunity Scholarship’s goal is to provide opportunities to youth who have met obstacles but persevere despite these challenges and see educational pursuits as a means to achieving personal and professional success that can then be shared with the next generation.

The scholarships were awarded to the following students for enrichment opportunities ranging from culinary arts to nursing:

  • Shauniqua Wells, Monroe College, Major: Culinary Arts
  • Whitney Warner, Houston Community College, Major: Nursing
  • Joshua C. Parris, University of the Virgin Islands, Major: Criminal Justice.

Aimed at supporting students who have had to overcome obstacles to continue their education, particularly in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, students had to meet specific requirements that included being a graduate from a St. Croix public high school and junior high school, maintaining a GPA of 2.0 or higher, demonstrating financial need, and most importantly, submitting personal essays that spoke to the reality of their challenges and their journey to pursue their dreams. All recipients are required to submit reports to the Foundation.

Scholarship recipient Joshua Parris expressed his appreciation, stating that, “I am humbly honored by this scholarship award. After the hurricane, my family and I had to live in a tent for a while and all of my dreams seemed so far away.  But seeing where I am now, I know that not giving up has led me to a place of strength. I thank my father and my mother, Junior Gaspard and St. Croix Foundation for making it all a reality.”

A native of St. Croix and graduate of Central High School and John H. Woodson Junior High School himself, Gaspard and the rest of the Williams/Gaspard family wished to honor his grandparents in a meaningful way in the aftermath of the hurricanes of 2017.  Launching a named scholarship fund would allow for a longer lasting impact on the lives of students in the community and allow the lessons learned from his grandparents about resilience and perseverance to be passed on to the next generation of leaders.

According to St. Croix Foundation’s Executive Director, Deanna James, “The Foundation is firmly committed to supporting our young people through innovative and targeted grants and scholarships. In these challenging times, our organization is acutely sensitive to how critical the funds provided through our grants are for our youth. Junior Gaspard is currently our youngest philanthropist in our Donor Advised Fund portfolio, and his dedication to and engagement in addressing the needs of our students – needs he himself has witnessed – is inspiring.”

St. Croix Foundation extends its deepest appreciation to Junior Gaspard (and his family) for his partnership and philanthropic spirit as well as the Foundation’s Grants Review Committee

For more information on St. Croix Foundation, please visit its website at or call the Foundation directly at 773-9898.