Established in 2017, the Claudia Lia C. Smith Scholarship Fund is designed to benefit a graduating high school senior residing in Calhoun, Doddridge, Jackson, Mason, Ritchie, Wirt, or Wood County, West Virginia. Selection is based on need, academic achievement, and good character.
Claudia Lia Christino was born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil. Having worked a few years in an administrative role, she decided she wanted to continue her education and returned to school to obtain degrees in English and Portuguese. Claudia then taught English as a second language for 11 years in São Paulo.
In the late 1970s, she met Robert Edward Smith, a Parkersburg resident who was stationed in Brazil as a Managing Director for Borg Warner Chemicals. They were married in 1978, and then in 1980, Claudia accompanied her new husband, Robert, back to Parkersburg.
Claudia's ambition to learn and experience new things followed her to the Parkersburg area. She soon attended Parkersburg Community College and obtained an Associate's Degree in computer science programming.
"Education is very gratifying and can cause meaningful impact," said Smith. "With this scholarship, I want to make a difference in someone's life by providing him/her with the opportunity to reach his/her goals."