CVCC student receives Jones and Steelman scholarships

HICKORY — Faith Christensen has always enjoyed her visits to the dentist.

This passion led the Hickory native to pursue her dream of becoming a dental hygienist at Catawba Valley Community College.

“When I was younger, I loved going to the dentist,” she said. “I loved how they showed you how to brush and floss.”

Paying for college on her own, though, Christensen sought help from the CVCC Foundation, which helped award her two scholarships — the Frank and Sue Jones Scholarship and the Dr. Sanford L. Steelman Scholarships.

Receiving both of these awards has been a huge relief for Christensen.

“My brother is also in school, and we are both paying for school by ourselves,” Christensen said. “Receiving this scholarship is a huge deal. My goal going into college was to not have any student debt. I work outside of school as a waitress on the weekends. I think this scholarship is really helpful and relieves some of the burden and stress of working extra hours. I’m so thankful that there are people out there that want to give back to our community and school and students who are pursuing their dreams. When I graduate as a dental hygienist, hopefully I will be able to do something similar.”

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The Frank and Sue Jones Scholarship Fund was established to award scholarships each year to deserving students attending Catawba Valley Community College. This scholarship is awarded primarily to students engaged in areas of study relating to health care. Preference is given to students from Catawba County.

The Dr. Sandford L. Steelman Scholarship was established to help students in the Nursing, Biology, Dental Hygiene, Emergency Medical Services and Practicing Health Related programs. Funds from the scholarship are made possible from the income received from the endowment, which is comprised of funds donated by Dr. Sanford L. Steelman and a portion donated by the the Merck Company Foundation.

These two scholarships allow Christensen to focus on both her academic goals at CVCC and professional goals beyond her education.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize that your oral health is linked to your systemic health,” she said. “If you’re bleeding from your foot, you go to the doctor, but if you are bleeding in your mouth some people think that’s normal. It’s not normal. I want to be the change in that.”

“The CVCC Foundation is honored to have been chosen to partner with the Jones and Steelman families to administer these scholarships and carry forward the legacies of Frank and Sue Jones and Dr. Sanford L. Steelman,” said Jennifer Jones, who serves as the executive director of the CVCC Foundation. “We are very proud to award these scholarships to Ms. Christensen for the 2022-23 academic year. She is well-deserving of receiving both awards, and we look forward to seeing her achieve her academic and career goals. Her sweet demeanor and compassionate care will help her excel as a dental hygienist and will bless the lives of all of her patients.”

For more information on the CVCC Foundation, contact Jennifer Jones at 828-327-7000 ext. 4288 or email


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