Nicole White scholarship awarded

Published 10:32 pm Tuesday, July 21, 2020

The YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas awarded the Nicole White Memorial Scholarship to Colby Cook, a senior at Smithfield High School, on July 14.

The scholarship fund honors Nicole White, who was one of the 32 Virginia Tech students who died on April 16, 2007.

“Nicole was a lifeguard for our Luter Family YMCA in Smithfield and volunteered many hours each week both for the YMCA and for various organizations in her community,” said Adam Klutts, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas.

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“Since 2008, a $5,000 scholarship is presented to one senior at Smithfield High School each year who best exemplifies the qualities, volunteer spirit and leadership of Nicole while she was a student at both Smithfield High School and Virginia Tech,” says Tricia White, Nicole’s mother. “We want to congratulate Colby on receiving this scholarship. He is always willing to lend a helping hand, not just to be polite, but because he genuinely believes in giving back to the community,” continued White.

This year, the Whites also donated $5,000 from the scholarship fund to the Second Grade Learn to Swim program at The Luter Family YMCA, ensuring every second-grader in Smithfield has the opportunity to learn safety around water, and how to swim. “We are grateful for this gift to our drowning prevention program for children in our community,” said Klutts.

The YMCA of the Virginia Peninsulas has initiated a scholarship through its endowment fund to honor Nicole White. The scholarship will be presented each spring to one senior at Smithfield High School for use at a state university of their choice. Through her acts of love and generosity, Nicole will forever leave a lasting legacy. To learn more, visit