WHEELING, W.Va. — The YWCA’s mission is to help women, and that effort continues in Wheeling, where a new scholarship aimed at educational opportunities for those who need them most was announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Not everyone’s pathway is the same, so The Hartford SMART529 Scholarship is set to provide the chance of higher education to women in the Wheeling YWCA program.

“That would help them go to school, whether it be a 4-year school, a 2-year school, a certification of some sort, a trade school, whatever hopes they have, whatever goals they want to meet,” said Liz Handzus, director of marketing and development, Wheeling YWCA.

The scholarship could also be associated with other costly items, like books, necessary attire, laptops, and more to aid their journey to self-sufficiency.

There is an application process.

“They have to get a staff recommendation letter,” Handzus said. “They will also have a formal interview with the advisory council.”

The YWCA helps to empower women who have been victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, who are in recovery, and been blocked by other barriers to life. It serves the entire Northern Panhandle.

“Women here at the YWCA don’t receive the same type of opportunity that other women do, so this is a good opportunity for them to jump over those barriers that they are so often represented with,” Handzus said.

To help make this opportunity possible, the YWCA is asking for your help. Funds would be made out to The Hartford SMART529 Scholarship program.

“I think a lot of people are passionate about higher education because it is a pathway toward self-sufficiency,” Handzus said.