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Josh Fielder Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship provides adults the opportunity to pursue higher education later in life. 

History of the Fund

This fund honors the memory of Josh Fielder, whose story began on May 25, 1978, in Memphis. He was quiet and shy, with a brilliant mind and a superb sense of humor.

Josh’s unquenchable thirst for knowledge was always the driving force in his life. After graduating from Horn Lake High School he attended college in Hawaii where he studied technology. Returning to Memphis to “build a life and pursue his dreams,” he continued to take classes in science, literature, philosophy, technology, and other subjects in an attempt to satisfy his desire to learn about anything and everything he could. The acquisition of knowledge was always a driving force; and in his calm, methodical way, he enjoyed imparting that knowledge to others.

Josh always left an impression on all those who were lucky enough to meet him. His quietness gave way to his sense of humor which always amused those around him. He was quick with a joke, but never at the expense of anyone else because he always tried to bring out the best in others.

Employment in the tech industry can be "dry," and at Josh's last job his personality and wit got him promoted to "Director of Fun." As a science fiction enthusiast, TV and movie buff, board game devotee, and roll-playing aficionado, he was always a wonder to his co-workers, friends, and family, who marveled at how one person could fit so much into each day, especially since his tech job often required him to be on call. On top of all that, Josh found time to start a charity that assisted the homeless.

Just weeks before his 34th birthday, Josh was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a terminal cancer caused by asbestos. The doctors told him to prepare himself for the inevitable end, but Josh never quit, never gave up, and emphatically affirmed, “I will beat this!”

 While the cancer took Josh’s life, it never broke his spirit. In the 140 days he lived after his diagnosis, he personified all that it means to be alive. Josh's short life was far from easy, yet his kindness and sense of humor blessed his family and friends.

This scholarship embraces those kindred spirits who, like Josh, may not take the conventional path in life or education. This scholarship allows Josh to pass the torch on to someone who can now use it to illuminate his or her own path. This scholarship allows Josh to say, “I beat this!”

Eligibility Requirements

All applicants must:

  • be at least 21 years old;
  • live in Tennessee, Arkansas, or Mississippi;
  • be accepted by and plan to attend an accredited vocational or technical school, two-year, or four-year college or university in the greater Memphis area;
  • have a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale; and
  • submit the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis scholarship application form and the required attachments.

A complete application includes:

  • completed Community Foundation of Greater Memphis scholarship application form;
  • one-page essay reflecting on Josh Fielder’s story and how it echoes the applicant’s desire to return to school;
  • two current letters of recommendation, including one professional letter of recommendation and one from a teacher, clergy, or person other than a family member who is familiar with your skills and abilities;
  •  most recent high school or college transcript, if available;
  • copy of your ACT and/or SAT scores, if available; and a
  • copy of your Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) Student Aid Report (SAR) and Expected Family Contribution (EFC) information, OR your College Scholarship Service (CSS) Profile, if available. 

This scholarship is awarded to one student each year. The scholarship award amount will be $1,000.

Applications for this scholarship are due June 1, 2017.