The namesake of this scholarship, James and Wanda Irwin, were long time residents of Springdale. They were both raised in western Washington County, a mile apart in Clyde and Cane Hill, respectively.
James and Wanda both received bachelor's degrees from the University of Arkansas, his in agriculture and hers in business. As if to foretell their lifelong commitment to education, James and Wanda went on to teach in the Prairie Grove and Lincoln School Districts.
In 1960, James was recruited by Tyson Foods, and they moved their family to Springdale, where they remained. James worked at Tyson for 22 years until his health forced him to retire from his position as Vice President of Broiler Production.
Both James and Wanda were active in the community. James served as a city councilman for more than 20 years. He was also active in the Kiwanis Club and served on the first Board of Directors for Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport, working fervently to bring XNA to fruition.
James and Wanda were Razorback fans and members of the Razorback Foundation. They were actively involved in their children's and grandchildren's school activities at all levels. Education was very important to James and Wanda. A deciding factor in their move to Springdale was so that their three children could have access to better education. Over the years, James and Wanda helped students who needed assistance for college tuition; and the Irwin Family wishes to memorialize their parents by continuing this tradition with a scholarship to high schoolers from First Church Springdale or Agape Fellowship.
The Irwin children have remained in Arkansas. The eldest son, Jim and his wife Judy live in Little and attend Pulaski Heights Methodist Church. Their second son Clark, his wife Georgi, and their only daughter, Paula live in Springdale and attend First Church.
- 6,000 annually, dispersed as 3,000 per semester
- Renewable for up to 4 years
- Must attend an Arkansas College or University (both two-year and four-year programs qualify)
- 3.0 High School GPA
- Active involvement in First Youth
- Maintain a 2.5 Cumulative GPA
- Be continuously enrolled as a full-time student
- Attend an annual dinner with the Irwin Family
How to Apply
- Fill out Scholarship Application located on the Website
- Send in a current resume which would include:
- Basic information
- Extracurricular Involvement
- Awards and Recognition
- Write a cover letter, featuring
- Introduction and aspiration
- Church and civic involvement (how 1st youth has played a role in your life)
- Description of financial need or how the scholarship would affect the student
Print the materials and submit a packet to First Church Springdale or the materials may be scanned and emailed to