August 19, 2021
christopher consultants of Prince William County, Virginia opened a fund last year at the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to provide scholarships to outstanding Unity Reed High School (Manassas, VA) graduates pursuing a career in civil engineering or a related field.

Bill Zink, president of christopher consultants manages the scholarship fund through the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. We recently asked Bill to share his thoughts about the importance of this philanthropic effort.

Why did you choose to partner with the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia on your philanthropy? 

When we decided to initiate a scholarship fund, we started talking with our attorney and accountant. It quickly became overwhelming and expensive. In addition, the long-term care of the foundation would be the same, complicated and expensive. After a few days of discussion, our attorney recommended the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. What an amazing blessing Community Foundation has been to us and ultimately to our recipients. Bottom line, more money to those with the need! Once we did our homework, it quickly became apparent that Community Foundation for Northern Virginia was well-regarded and was the answer.

Why was it important to establish the christopher consultants Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund?

The incredible challenges of 2020, the global pandemic, of course, but also the heightened racial and socio-economic tension, really shook our feelings of safety and tore our communities apart. It also put a spotlight on industries with a lack of diversity including ours, the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry.

In response, christopher decided to do something real and tangible to unite our divided communities and take steps towards a more inclusive and diverse AEC workforce. We believe education is key to improve a young person’s future and we knew that many bright young minds are limited not by their talent but by a lack of opportunity. Already connected to Unity Reed High School in Prince William County, Virginia, we leveraged that connection to start providing internships, leadership training, life skills, and mentorship to their diverse student population. But, we wanted to make a more impactful difference by enabling a qualifying senior to attend the four-year college or university of their choice - at no cost - in the field of civil engineering, surveying, or landscape architecture.

Can you tell us about that fund – how do you use it to support the community?

We see the fund as supporting both the community in Prince William County, Virginia by better educating its youth and our professional community by removing barriers to education so our industry can include the bright and motivated, young and diverse minds of the future that are found at all socio-economic levels. In addition, we feel that this goal requires all of us in the industry to join together. We have invited friends, colleagues, and partners, to participate in contributing to a better future and thereby building unity behind a shared goal. One student at Unity Reed High School’s life could be changed, his or her community improved, and the AEC industry moved closer to truly representing our richly diverse society.

To learn more about this scholarship opportunity please visit: