The Suffolk Education Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2019 college scholarships. This year, the Foundation awarded $19,000 to help 12 local high school graduates continue their education. Since 1993, the Foundation has committed more than $370,000 in college scholarships for local high school students.
As part of the Foundation’s application, students this year were asked this essay question: "How has one of your community service projects impacted them and the community?” Suffolk Public Schools requires 50 hours of community service throughout a student’s high school career to graduate. A selection from winners' responses are shared below with details about each award recipient.
HARRY LEE & JEAN RITCHIE CROSS FAMILY SCHOLARSHIP - The Cross family established this $1,500 scholarship to honor their father, a Suffolk realtor who served on the School Board.
The King’s Fork recipient is Audre Davis who will be attending UNC-Greensboro. She shares in her essay, “I have always asked myself, “What occupation gives someone the means to help an individual who is in need while still having personal contact with them?” The answer to this question is; any career within the medical field allows an individual to have direct care with ones they are seeking to help.”
The Nansemond River recipient is Mackenzie West who will be attending South Carolina University. In the essay she states, “The community service activity I’ve done that has had the greatest impact on myself, has been my involvement with my church’s annual Vacation Bible School. As a child, I experienced the program first hand every year, where I was actually immersed in the lessons, activities, and games they always had prepared for us. I believe the time I spent in the program helped to prepare me to become a volunteer later on.”
The Lakeland recipient is William Richardson who will be attending UNC – Chapel Hill. He states in his essay, “Helping others has become more meaningful to me each time I hear about or see the joy and relief it brings to those in need.”
Helen and Ned Ferguson Endowment Scholarship - The Ferguson family established this $1,500 scholarship to honor their father, a local lawyer and community leader.
The King’s Fork recipient is Madison Gwaltney who will be attending Old Dominion University. Madison states in the essay “During my many years of community service, I have been overjoyed, hopeful, and so much more.”
The Nansemond River recipient is Brianna Hardison who will be attending Virginia Tech. In her essay she says, “Throughout my high school career, community service has been something that allows me to step away from the stress of schoolwork, college planning, and sports. It provides me with a diverse array of opportunities to positively affect the lives of others,”
The Lakeland recipient is Sydney Beale who will be attending Virginia Tech. She shares, “[The Community Service requirement] gave me the push and the chance to get involved in my community outside of school. Meals-on-Wheels touched me the most. Those meals meant so much to those people because they could no longer get out or cook for themselves, and even though I was a stranger to them, their face lit up when I walked in.
FUTURE EDUCATOR SCHOLARSHIP – The Wilbur Wilson future educator scholarship is awarded to graduating seniors who plan a career as an educator.
The Nansemond River recipient is Natalie Hawkins will be attending Old Dominion. In her essay, she states, “I can relate to my service working with Concerned Adults Teaching Children Hope (CATCH). It is a profound experience in my life. Little do the children know that they are my salvation from school, work and sport. To see them give it their all and laugh fearlessly makes my trials disappear for moments I can enjoy.
The Lakeland recipient is Allison Thompson will be attending Bridgewater College. In the essay, it says, “In 2015, I traveled to Nicaragua for a missions trip. In preparation for this trip, we had the mentality of going to teach others. In the reality of it all, we are the ones who were being taught.”
G. BLAIR HARRY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP - The Harry family established this $1,500 scholarship to honor their father, who was a well- known Suffolk lawyer and judge who passed away in 2005. This scholarship is earmarked for college-bound student athletes.
Criofan Shaw, a swimmer at King’s Fork, will be attending Virginia Wesleyan University. He say in the essay, “the first trip to Woonsocket, Rhode Island was undoubtedly the most fulfilling community service activity, not only for the impact it had on me, but also the impact it brought to the community we came to serve. I did not attend this trip for any sort of reward; however, the relationships formed and the love gifted to me.”
Corey Hasson, a golfer and a swimmer at Lakeland, will be attending Liberty University. He shared in the essay, “Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to take part in missions projects in different States. These opportunities have allowed me to give all people the equal opportunity that they deserve. I have learned to always give people a chance, because for some people, that is all they are looking for.”
Gertrude B. Pruden Family Arts Scholarship - The Pruden family established this scholarship in memory of this local teacher who loved music, art, and drama. This year’s recipient is Jacquelyn Hendricks from Nansemond River. She will be attending James Madison University. In her essay she says, “My parents were sure to get me interested in community outreach and in doing so, allowed me to experience the value of giving back. My skills in video production helped me with my Silver Award; I made videos reading children’s books for the ForKids, Inc.”
Ellis E. Temple, Sr. Memorial Scholarship - The Temple family established this scholarship in 2009 to help a college-bound student athlete and school leader at Lakeland High School. This $1,000 scholarship was first awarded in 2013. Ellis Temple was a well-known parent advocate and president of the city-wide Suffolk PTA Council. This year’S recipient is Allison Thompson from Lakeland High School who will be attending Bridgewater College.
THE DOUG DOHEY MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP – The Dohey family, along with several individual donors, established a $1500 scholarship to honor the former Assistant Superintendent’s dedication to Suffolk Public Schools. This year’s recipient is Aaron Whear, from Nansemond River. In his essay, he shares, “The heart of service is about people and helping them see that even though life has thrown a roadblock in their way, with the help of others, they can continue to move forward.”
Awards are made following an application process and reviewed by a committee from the Suffolk Education Foundation’s board of directors. Selection criteria include academic achievement, community/school service, and future education and career goals.