Phaedra J. Grove ’92, ’95 MPA credits her mother, Pecolia J. Grove, with changing the trajectory of her family in just one generation. The oldest of 11 children whose parents were sharecroppers, Pecolia knew education was a priority, but so was contributing financially to her family’s household.
Pecolia had no options to attend college, despite graduating salutatorian of her high school class. Instead, she served in the U.S. Army two years, earning an associate degree and the funds to complete her education. Post-Army, she entered N.C. Central College (now University) and graduated with a BA in psychology. Her career as a social worker enabled her to send Phaedra to college – both undergraduate and graduate school at UNCG – debt-free.
In 2022, Phaedra established the Phaedra J. and Pecolia J. Grove Endowed Scholarship to honor her mother and to pay forward the support she received. Holding the belief that a lack of resources should never be a hindrance to a student pursuing a degree, Phaedra feels a sense of duty to provide this scholarship.
“My late mother and I wanted to lighten the load for other young women like us matriculating through this University,” says Phaedra. “My parents were both educators, so the focus on academic achievement and general well-roundedness was a part of my upbringing. Many students don’t have that kind of support in their lives.”
By Christine Garton, Advancement Communications.
Photography of Phaedra J. Grove by Martin W. Kane. Photo of Pecolia J. Grove courtesy of Phaedra J. Grove.