People of Faith: May 1, 2015

Nancy Wood scholarshipPurifoy receives inaugural Nancy Wood Scholarship

Nancy Wood, left, on May 19 announced Harper Purifoy of Malvern, right, as the first Nancy McDonald Wood scholar. Wood presented the $3,000 scholarship during a worship service at Purifoy’s home church, First UMC Malvern. The scholarship funds, given to honor Wood last fall by family and friends, are invested with the United Methodist Foundation of Arkansas. Wood hopes to use the scholarship to build strong United Methodist lay leaders in the years to come.

The selection committee reviewed 28 applications from United Methodist young women who will begin college in the fall. Criteria emphasized lay involvement in the applicant’s local United Methodist Church in Arkansas. The process was extremely competitive, as most applicants had strong academic records and volunteer commitments to their home churches.

Purifoy’s unselfish efforts on behalf of her church and community were obvious from letters of recommendation for her selection and a long list of activities at First UMC Malvern. She is the lead singer in the youth band and has done volunteer work with Meals on Wheels and Under the Bridge programs, as well as the Kids Club in her hometown. She plays soccer, cheers and serves on Student Council. She leads her class with a 4.23 grade point average.

A senior at Malvern High School, Purifoy is enrolling at Hendrix College, following her parents, Shawn and Brenda Purifoy, both Hendrix graduates.

Applications for the 2016-17 scholarship year will be available in January 2016 through and United Methodist church youth ministers.