SAGE Fellows is a scholarship program that provides students with academic and financial support. It was established to remove barriers and guide students on a successful path toward graduation and career opportunities. Students in the program receive a $4,000 scholarship over two years, a dedicated advisor and peer mentor, success and study skills, classes with other SAGE students, access to all SAGE services, and leadership development activities and opportunities. Funding for the scholarship is raised by the Wilkes Community College Foundation through the annual MerleFest Mega Raffle.

         Iris Eller

WCC student, Iris Eller, credits her success in college to the WCC SAGE Fellows program. Eller who lives with her grandfather stated, “Money is tight and without the SAGE scholarship, I probably would not have been able to go to college.”

Without a car or a driver’s license, Eller has depended on her grandfather to take her places. She added, “The resources and funding from this scholarship have been what has allowed me to stay in school and obtain my associate degree.”

Eller added, “The SAGE Fellows program made the transition from high school to college so much easier. They provided guidance and a personal experience that made me feel comfortable and welcome. I am so thankful for the program and the opportunities it has provided me.”

Eller will graduate in May 2023 with an associate in arts degree and has already been accepted at Appalachian State University for fall 2023. She plans to major in Accounting with a minor in Art.

If you are interested in more information about how you can help other students at Wilkes or more information about the MerleFest Mega Raffle, please visit or