Between local scholarships and awards from their chosen colleges and universities, Scotland High School’s class of 2013 will be graduating with more than $1.3 million in funding for their future education.
“These scholarships are going towards things that I need, and there’s much needed in college,” said Tyken Covington, who will attend N.C. A&T State University this fall to pursue a nursing career. “This is going to go a long way.”
Some 55 local scholarships and awards, many given to more than one student, were announced during Tuesday evening’s awards night in the high school auditorium.
“I’m just proud of everybody in the class that got up there and represented the school well and earned a lot of money,” said Joseph Sojka, who himself earned seven scholarships, including the $15,000 Old Well Scholarship to the University of North Carolina and the Scout Leadership Award, both given in memory of Josh Dormagen.
Awards were presented by Scotland County’s manifold civic organizations and scholarship foundations based upon attributes from academic merit and community service participation to expressed interest in culinary arts and theater.
“These students have excelled in academics, service, extracurricular activities, athletics, arts, the list goes on,” said Scotland High School scholarship coordinator Eric Smith.
Throughout the school year, students have applied for a number of scholarships, with school scholarship staff directing students toward scholarships that promise to reward their demonstrated qualities.
“I met with Mr. Smith, the college counselor, and he just gave me the scholarships and I applied for them,” said Sojka. “He did most of the work for us.”
Several students earned more than one local scholarship, with Sojka along with Dee Ajra Harris and Ryan Leak taking home seven each. So far, scholarships granted this year to Scotland High School’s seniors total more than $1.34 million.
Khadejah Bennett, who is taking home six scholarships, said that balancing the search for education funding with a hectic senior year was no simple task.
“My college scholarship coordinator was definitely a big help - every time I went in there he would say ‘Hey I’ve got a scholarship for you,’” Bennett said. “Also I would always pick a day, most of the time it was Thursday, and mark it out and that would be my day to work on scholarships, and I would just knock them out one by one. It was very time-consuming and that was my strategy I guess: managing my time.”
Bennett plans to study communications at N.C. A&T State University, and foresees using the scholarships as a safety net for unforeseen expenses.
“Most of my scholarships are going to help me with books and just anything,” she said. “Eith a lot of college expenses, anything can be thrown at you and this will help me with those little expenses that no one ever thinks about.”
Though some scholarships had already been announced, seniors invited to the program were unsure which awards they would receive.
In the search for as much scholarship funding as possible, Meelad Alinaghian applied for every award for which he qualified. A future student at the University of North Carolina, he left Tuesday’s program with a Scotland Memorial Foundation Scholarship and as one of the recipients of a Rochaad’s Smile scholarship, granted in honor of Rochaad D. Ingram.
“These were a surprise - I applied for anything I could get, tried my best and hoped for the best,” said Alinaghian. “This is going to help me get my biology degree and I hope attain my dream of becoming a doctor. I want to open up a couple of organizations to help the community at Carolina - these are my dreams and this money is like a spring to help me fly.”
Josh Dormagen Old Well Scholarship - Joseph Sojka
Josh Dormagen Scout Leadership Award - Joseph Sojka
Morehead-Cain Scholars Program - Destinee Grove
Scotland Health Care System Volunteers’ Ruth Bisby Scholarship - Sarah Nance
Scotland Health Care System Volunteers’ Marion S. Sharkany Scholarship - Allyson Strickland
State Employees Credit Union People Helping People Scholarship - Joseph Sojka
W.R. Dulin Memorial Scholarship - Hailey Smith
Scotland Memorial Foundation Scholarship - Meelad Alinaghian and Victoria Wendell
Scotland Memorial Foundation Community Service Scholarship - Apita Waters
Scotland Memorial Foundation Nursing Allied Health Scholarship - Jazzmin Williams
Laurinburg Junior Service League Dibba John Scholarship - Sarah Hicks
Laurinburg Junior Service League Marie Pate Scholarship - Greta Griswold and Joseph Sojka
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Scholarship - Kayla Clark
McGregor Foundation Scholarship - Khadejah Bennett, Sarah Campbell, Jakeria Elliot, Jalen McLean, Christopher Moss, and Victoria Wendell
Entwistle Family Scholarship - Sarah Hicks
Rev. Johnnie Henry Little Scholarship - Tyken Covington
James H. Underwood, Jr. Scholarship - Khadejah Bennett and Modelle McRae
Brian Rush Educational Scholarship - Khadejah Bennett, Tyken Covington, Magnolia Dockery, Dee Ajra Harris, Modelle McRae, Shalisa Salters, Gevetta Whittington, and Courtney Williams
Scotland County Ministerial Alliance Scholarship - Hope Blue, Magnolia Dockery, Delanna Draper, Jakeria Elliot, Tykeria Johnson, and Modelle McRae
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Scholarship - Dee Ajra Harris, Julianna McKenzie, and Jalen McLean
Beta Nu Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. Scholarship - Ryan Leak
29th District of Eastern Star Scholarship - Dee Ajra Harris and Kadejah McRae
29th District Masonic Lodge Scholarship - Kaylan Ellis, Kadejah McRae, and Modelle McRae
Joseph L. Biggs Scholarship - Ryan Leak
N.C. Division of Veterans’ Affairs Scholarship - Caroline Pridgen
Johnsie Patterson McFadden Scholarship - William Adams, Ellen Buie, Sarah Hicks, Mary John, Ryan Leak, and Joseph Sojka
Pilot CLub of Laurinburg Scholarship - Alexandria Morgan
Rochaad’s Smile Memorial Scholarship - Meelad Alinaghian, Ryan Leak, Jalen McLean, Jonissa Monley, Dee Ajra Harris
Katie Groves McNeill Scholarship - Joseph Sojka
National Association of University Women Scholarship - Khadejah Bennett, Dee Ajra Harris, Mary John, and Shalisa Salters
Scottish Pilot Club Scholarship - Mary John
NAACP Flowers-Kelly-Speller Scholarship - Khadejah Bennett and Dee Ajra Harris
NAACP Lawrence Jackson, Jr. Entrepreneurial Leadership Scholarship - Ryan Leak
NAACP-American Legion Oratorical Contest Award - Khadejah Bennett and Deangelo Byrd
Delores Barber Culinary Scholarship - Janea Myers
Scotland High School Theater Scholarship - Jalen McLean, Ariel Ratcliff, and Nicholas Williams
Laurinburg Rotary Club Scholarship - Ellen Buie, Justin Causey, Greta Griswold, and Matthew Sabin
The A.B. Gibson Scholarship Fund Award - Greta Griswold
The John F. McNair Memorial Scholarship - Daniel Shaw, Brianna Stanley, and Victoria Wendell
Deborah Pickens Durham Scholarship - Christopher Johnson
Harry Howell Scotland Motors Scholarship - Erin Snead
Luis Gonzales Memorial Scholarship - Jalen McLean
Louise Graham Davis Scholarship - Jakeria Elliot, Kaylan Ellis, Dee Ajra Harris, Ryan Leak, and Shalisa Salters
Victor E. Bell, Jr. Scholarship - Lauren Britt
Florence Kidder Memorial Scholarship - Courtney Williams
James Mason Memorial Scholarship - Victoria Wendell
Superintendent’s Scholar-Athlete Award - Greta Griswold and Joseph Sojka
Wal-Mart Dependent Scholarship - Ryan Leak
R.C.T.S.-R.B. Dean Alumni Scholarship - Modelle McRae
N.C. Asociation of Rescue and Emergency Medical Services Scholarship - Erin Snead
Henry H. Arnold Education Grant - Destinee Grove
Perfect Attendance - Sarah Campbell