James H. Parke was the first Director of Voluntary Service and the founding father of the Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service (VAVS) National Advisory Committee (NAC).
The James H. Parke Memorial Fund, comprised of VAVS NAC member organizations, was established in 1976 to serve as the non-profit source of funds for a VAVS Youth Scholarship. Organizations, volunteers, VA staff and others continue to contribute to the Fund.
The board of directors of the Fund annually establishes (in the early spring) the amount of the primary award and any secondary scholarships. The Fund communicates such and provides a nomination form to the Director, Voluntary Service Office (10B2A) for distribution to Voluntary Service field staff.
The scholarships may be used for tuitions and fees, books and supplies and/or room and board or other educational needs purchased through the school of the students' choice. Scholarship winners must use their awards by their 24 th birthday. All winners receive detailed guidance concerning scholarship utilization from the Treasurer of the Fund.
Each medical center may nominate one VAVS student volunteer for receipt of the award. Recommendations may be made by any VA staff member who acts as a supervisor of the student volunteer or member of the local VAVS Committee. This recommendation should be discussed with the Chief, Voluntary Service, before submission to the Medical Center Director.
To be eligible, candidates must have completed 100 hours of regularly scheduled VAVS volunteer service during the calendar year prior to September 1; be a student in the 10 th grade or above; and have not reached their 19th birthday.
The Medical Center Director nominates a candidate for the award by submission of the nomination form to the President of the Fund by November 1. Nominations received after that date will not be considered.
The nomination form should be completed to reflect the volunteer service and background of the candidate and include: age, years of volunteering, number of volunteer hours, areas of service, and affiliated/supporting organizations, if any.
Criteria on which candidates are evaluated for consideration of awards include:
- Scholastic Activity
- Fulfillment and acceptance of responsibility
- Personality and pleasantness to patients and staff
- Leadership capability
- Inspiration to patients through service performed
The National Winner receives a plaque and a letter of commitment. This presentation is usually made at the Annual Meeting of the VAVS National Advisory Committee.
Privacy Act and Release of Information
All personal information contained in the nomination form for the James H. Parke Memorial Youth Scholarship award, as well as any photograph, may be used by the Fund and VA for promotion and publicity purposes. None of the information is required by law and is, therefore, disclosed voluntarily. A consent form (VA Form 10-3203) is available in all medical centers and should be attached to the nomination package.
For additional information contact your local VA Voluntary Service office.
If you are interested in contributing to the James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship Fund you may send donations to:Parke Memorial Scholarship Fund
C/O FRA – Chris Slawinski
125 N. West St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
James H. Parke Memorial Fund Board of Directors
John P. Brown, III, President
AMVETS (American Veterans)
John Kleindienst, Vice President
Disabled American Veterans
Chris Slawinski, Treasurer
Fleet Reserve Association
Marie Rorrio, Secretary
AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary
Blue Star Mothers of America
American Legion Auxiliary
The Salvation Army