A Registered 501(c)3 Public Charity

Brender Foundation

About Brender Foundation

 James and Wendy Brender established the Brender Family Scholarship Fund in  2012 to help defray the cost of higher education. They strongly believe that higher education is important and should be accessible to all. The Fund recently awarded nine scholarships for the 2014-2015 academic year. All awards are annually renewable. Each scholarship supports a specific subject. The 2014-2015 awards support Information Technology (2), Women’s Studies (2), Fine Arts (2), Education (2), and History. The Verna Skosnik Memorial Scholarship and ComSpec Empower Scholarship are two special scholarships offered by the Brender Family Scholarship Fund.

The ComSpec EMPOWER scholarship

The ComSpec EMPOWER scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school student seeking a degree from Greensboro College and hoping to pursue a career in technology. The goal of the scholarship is to make higher education affordable and promote interest in the technology sector. EMPOWER itself is a product of the collaboration of the education and technology sectors.

ComSpec International, Inc. is a professional software company specializing in the development and implementation of applications for higher education and custom database systems for a range of clients. In operation under the same management since 1983, ComSpec has been consistently profitable and boasts of a very stable workforce.

Developed by ComSpec, the EMPOWER Student Information System is a fully integrated system that supports the academic management needs of colleges and universities. Following students from the first inquiry through alumni and donor status, the system includes robust features such as recruiting, admissions, records, advising, degree audit, financial aid, student billing, housing, campus security, campus judicial processes, and alumni/development. Specially designed higher education payroll and human resources systems round out the offering. The comprehensive EMPOWER Web Portal provides self-service access for inquiries, applications, students, faculty, staff, parents, and the public at large – all under strict security controls.

EMPOWER came about as several colleges engaged ComSpec developers to apply our expertise to the business of higher education. ComSpec worked closely with college administrators, higher education consultants, and educational software managers to prepare the architecture, features, interfaces, and implementation process that is EMPOWER.

Verna Skosnik Memorial Scholarship

The Verna Skosnik Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a graduating high school senior who demonstrates strong academic promise and an interest in the Labor Movement and women’s rights. Verna Skosnik was an avid supporter of both these causes. Verna also believed strongly in the value of education. Her three children have two Ph.D’s and an MBA.

Verna was born in Sligo, Missouri in 1918. She lived in Missouri until 1937 when she traveled around the country to organize labor unions, particularly in the South. Her life was threatened, but she never stopped fighting for this cause. She was a star witness in a trial that convicted a mob leader who used violence to shut down the unions.

She met and married her husband, John, after knowing him for only three weeks because he was leaving to fight in World War II. When he returned, they moved to Michigan. Verna accepted a job at Montgomery Wards where she worked for 23 years as a department manager. She often mentored her employees so that they could advance in their careers. Verna was well respected by both the people who worked for her and the store’s senior management.

After retiring in 1975, Verna remained active and spent time with her family, which had grown to include six grandchildren. At the age of 82, she was elected and served as Precinct Delegate. Verna had an uncommon zest for life and cheerful attitude that brightened the day of those around her.


Monet Mickles
Lomar Gordon
Rebekah Sikes
Michael Gregory
Joshua Belt
Sophia Crist
Allene Fox
Logan Wilkie
Anna Duckstein
Hailey Ayers
Staci Causey
Lauren Cash
Leo Kullman IV
Natalia Sells

Fund Administrators

  • Wendy Brender


CharitySmith accepts donations in two ways:

By Mail:
Brender Foudation
CharitySmith Nonprofit Foundation
13100 Filly Lane
Truckee, CA 96161
Use credit card by clicking the link below.
Donate To Fund

The above Memorial Fund is established as a division of Charitysmith Nonprofit Foundation (EIN 87-0636433). All donations are tax deductible in accordance with federal tax law. Receipts for tax purposes are sent via US Mail within two weeks of donation. Please consider asking if your employer participates in a gift-matching program. If so, your donation may be matched by your employer.

For questions regarding your donation or this memorial fund please contact CharitySmith.


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