In Their Words: Empowering Children Through Communication

This new series In Their Words highlights our past recipients of the Moton Family Challenge Scholarship. Follow us as we provide an update on how the scholarship and your support has helped these young scholars advance their education.

Ellís Jones knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children. Her major in Communications and Science Disorders will put her on the path to becoming a Speech-Language Pathologist, helping children overcome challenges in communicating.

Jones, one of two recipients of the 2019 Moton Family Challenge Scholarship, is an undergraduate student at Longwood University. She is the granddaughter of LaVonna Lyle.

Jones said that through her major, she will be able to “help youth who have speech and language impediments, disorders, and difficulties communicating.”

She credited the scholarship for aiding her in pursuing her education and career.

“The Moton Family Challenge Scholarships has been a tremendous financial help with tuition,” Jones said. “This scholarship has also freed up money that was going toward my tuition that my parents had to pay, so they can pay for books and school supplies.”

Being a Speech-Language Pathologist requires a unique set of skills and aptitude on numerous subjects. Through her Communications and Science Disorders major, Jones has learned another language, and cited learning sign language and working with children who have challenges in speaking as integral and rewarding aspects of her major.

“What I enjoy most about my major is being able to learn about all of the different roles a Speech-Language Pathologist plays, such as working with patients who have swallowing issues, assisting children and teens who have cochlear implants, teaching kids sign language, and so many more,” Jones said. “I also have thoroughly enjoyed learning sign language and I plan to further my sign language abilities so I can fluently communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

Jones said that post-graduation, she plans to be a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist and work either at a school or a clinic in Virginia, though is open to relocating to another state. Though her first priority is to work with children, she would also have the skill set to work in a nursing home or hospital.

The Family Challenge Scholarships are available to direct lineal descendants of a student or students denied a public education or displaced by the public school closings in Prince Edward County between the years 1959-1964.

To learn more about the scholarship program, or how to apply, visit

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