Five local high school graduates recently received awards from the Golden LEAF Foundation that could total up to $12,000 in scholarships for each.
Brenda Cabrera, of North Surry High School; Ashley Hicks, of East Surry High School; Kelby Tenney and Sadie Hooker, both of Surry Early College; and Shelbey Taylor, of Mount Airy High School, each received a $3,000 scholarship, which can be renewed every year for up to $12,000 in total college aid.
“Recipients from rural, economically-distressed North Carolina counties are selected based on career and educational goals, a review of school and community service activities, length of residence in the county and expressed intent to contribute to the state’s rural communities upon graduation from college,: the foundation said in announcing the awards.
Statewide, 215 students received the scholarships.
Brenda plans to attend North Carolina State University; Ashley plans to attend Mars Hill College; Kelby plans to attend Lees-McRae College; Shelbey plans to attend Wingate University; and Sadie plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The Golden LEAF Foundation created the Golden LEAF Scholarship program to broaden educational opportunities and provide support to students from rural counties hoping that after graduation recipients will provide leadership in these communities.
“The Golden LEAF board of directors has been pleased to assist more than 4,500 students from families in rural communities attend four-year colleges since 2000,” said Dan Gerlach, Golden LEAF president. “Our hope is that through this scholarship, scholars will be able to gain valuable knowledge and skills and come back to their hometowns or another rural area to help our communities prosper.”
Students receiving Golden LEAF Scholarships are also eligible to participate in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. The optional program provides leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership, paid internship opportunities in rural North Carolina communities, and stipends up to $8,830 (for four years of participation) in addition to Golden LEAF Scholarship funding.