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Former WV Gov. Bob Wise participating as a panelist in a Promise Scholarship Forum

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Former West Virginia Gov. Bob Wise will be one of six panelists at a Promise Scholarship Forum Jan. 28 at the Walker Theater at the Clay Center.

The forum will be hosted by Generation Charleston, the Charleston Area Alliance's young professionals group and Generation West Virginia.

The Promise Scholarship is a merit-based financial aid program for West Virginia residents. The forum will cover its successes, changes since adoption and discussions on realistic improvements to further the goals of the scholarship.  

Slated to join Wise on the panel are: Lloyd Jackson, a member of the West Virginia Board of Education; Paul Hill, chancellor of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission; Stephen Kopp, president of Marshall University; Lizzy Margolin, associate attorney with Bowles Rice and former Promise Scholarship recipient; and Kristen Pennington, chairwoman of the West Virginia University Student Advocates for Legislative Advancement.

"The Promise Scholarship provides hope to the best and brightest of our state that might otherwise not be able to bear the burden of exorbitant college costs," Pennington said. "Promise is the reason I went to school in-state and has now driven me to stay in West Virginia for my career and give back to the state that has given me so much."

The forum will be moderated by Senate Education Chairman Robert Plymale, D-Wayne.

"Our goal is to promote West Virginia and attract young professionals," said Abby Sobonya, a Generation Charleston Public Policy Team co-captain. "The Promise Scholarship is a commitment the state has made to its students to help educate our workforce as well as keep our young people in state. Some time has passed since this scholarship program began. We wanted to revisit Promise, see if it is still doing what it was intended to do and find out what the future may hold for our future generations to come."

There is no cost to attend the forum, though people are encouraged to RSVP through the "Attend an Event" section of the Charleston Area Alliance's website: www.charlestonareaalliance.org.