Golden LEAF announces award of 215 scholarships to rural high school seniors

Golden LEAF is pleased to announce 215 new scholarships have been awarded to support students attending four-year colleges or universities in North Carolina. This year’s scholarship recipients hail from 75 rural counties and most have lived in rural North Carolina all of their life. Students will receive $3,000 each year for up to four years of study while attending a participating college or university.

“Congratulations to this year’s Golden LEAF Scholarship recipients,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF Foundation President, Chief Executive Officer. “Students were selected out of a pool of more than 2,200 applicants. We are proud to award scholarships to these hardworking and bright students with deep roots in their rural communities. We support our scholarship recipients as they follow their education pursuits and develop into North Carolina’s next generation of rural leaders.”

The Board of Directors established the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program 20 years ago to broaden educational opportunities for students from rural counties with the hope that after graduation recipients will return to a rural community. These scholarships help students pursue careers in fields such as education, healthcare, business, and engineering

Ra’Quan Leary of Hertford County

Scholarship recipient Ra’Quan Leary of Hertford County is passionate about teaching. Leary is attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in the fall and plans to become a mathematics teacher. He is a graduate of Hertford County Early College High School.

“I am excited because this scholarship is aiding me in achieving my goal of giving back to my community,” said Leary. “I want to change my students’ minds from that black-and-white shade to a bright vibrant splash of color through the love of math.”

Brook Ingham of Avery County

Brook Ingham from Avery County and a graduate of Avery County High School will attend Lees-McRae College. She plans to be a nurse practitioner.

“This scholarship will help me pursue the career that I have always dreamed of,” said Ingham. “I am excited because this scholarship has made it possible for me to accomplish the things I have always wanted to do.”

Students receiving scholarships have strong roots in their communities. As part of the application, students explain their intent to return to live and work in a rural North Carolina community.

S’Morya Greene of Lenoir County

“This scholarship has given me a chance to show my community that there are people who care about our future,” said S’Morya Greene of Lenoir County. “The Golden LEAF Scholarship will help me pursue my educational dreams.”

Greene graduated from North Lenoir High School and will attend North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University in the fall to study business management. She wants to be an entrepreneur.

Gavin Jones of Anson County

Gavin Jones of Anson County will be attending North Carolina State University in the fall studying civil engineering. He graduated from Anson County Early College High School.

“I am incredibly excited to receive this honor because of the opportunities and blessings it has and will afford me,” said Jones. “I am deeply humbled by my selection for this honor and forever thankful to the Golden LEAF Foundation.”

Students receiving the Golden LEAF Scholarship can attend any of North Carolina’s participating public and private four-year colleges and universities. Recipients from rural, tobacco-dependent or economically distressed North Carolina counties are selected based on career and educational goals, a review of school and community service activities, academic performance, length of residence in the county and expressed intent to contribute to the state’s rural communities upon graduation from college.

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