The Black Family Scholarship Fund was formed by William and Sheila Black and awards $1,000 each year to graduating seniors in the Avella or West Greene school districts, including nontraditional students, who are strongly considering majoring in agriculture, education or nursing in college.
Bill and Sheila have dedicated their lives to helping to educate young people, so it seemed natural that they would extend their assistance to students in the form of a charitable scholarship. Bill is a retired vocational agriculture and elementary teacher who worked for most of his career in the Avella school district and Sheila, a retired school nurse from West Greene. “At this point in my life, I want to give back,” Sheila explained. “The kids there are very special to me.”
During a 2003 interview with the Observer-Reporter after surviving bladder cancer, Bill said he felt blessed to have been able to work for 40 years in a field that he loved.
“There are days (in teaching) where you feel like you don’t accomplish too much, but in the latter part of your career you meet (former) students and realize that you made a contribution to their livelihood and their happiness,” he said. “I can’t think of a more worthy calling.”
In their spare time, Bill and Sheila spend their time working with their favorite groups, two of which are the Washington County Fair, where Bill was a member of the board for many years, and Washington County 4‐H, where Sheila is a sewing leader. Bill and Shelia hope to pass on their love of educating and caring for young people by helping others achieve their own dreams.