WNC Communities Awards $11,500 in College Scholarships to WNC Students in 2020

In 2020, WNC Communities awarded twelve students from across our mountain region a total of $11,500 for college.  Each student received between $500 – $1000 through the George H.V. Cecil Journey Scholarship program.  Additionally, one student was awarded the Pat Brinkley Shulimson Memorial Scholarship of $500 for her outstanding leadership.  Please join us in congratulating these young scholars on their academic excellence:

  • Hailey Bowman – Cherokee County
  • Chloe Breedlove – Macon County
  • Ainsley Deese – Henderson County
  • Lilly Ensley – Haywood County
  • Dennis Marion – Macon County
  • Avery McGaha – Macon County
  • Kalyanne Neel – Buncombe County
  • Hudson Renfro – Mitchell County
  • Aaron Tackett – Henderson County
  • Marlene Trejo – Madison County
  • Brooks Valentine – Haywood County
  • Corissa Chronkite – Haywood County

Since 2002, WNC Communities has provided scholarships to our region’s high school seniors. The winners must possess good character, high academic achievement, and significant contributions to community service.  The program’s founder, Mr. George H.V. Cecil, always enjoyed the selection process and giving out the awards to these high achievers because he strongly believed that our youth are the key to our future.

When Mr. Cecil passed away in 2020, WNC Communities decided to rename the program from the Journey Scholarship to the George H.V. Cecil Journey Scholarship to honor his legacy.  We are grateful for his caring leadership for all these years and thrilled to be able to carry forward his desire to support promising students in continuing to excel.

Pat Brinkely Shulimson Scholar

WNC Communities also has the honor of offering the Pat Brinkley Shulimson Memorial Scholarship, which awards one student $500 for demonstrating exceptional leadership.  This year’s winner was Brooks Valentine from Bethel community in Haywood County.  The selection of this scholarship is based on letters of recommendation from teachers detailing the student’s specific accomplishments.

The list of Brooks’ community contributions is so extensive, it is simply too long to list here.  However, to illustrate the wide variety of ways Brooks has demonstrated leadership, here are just a few of his most impressive achievements:

  • Impressing U.S. Congress members with his debating prowess during a mock debate and being elected the Treasurer of the NC Mock Electric Cooperative from among all other NC Tour delegates,
  • Being the varsity basketball captain, president of the Fellowship of
    Christian Athletes, and president of the Student Pep Club, all while maintaining a GPA of 4.36, and
  • Co-founding an inclusive club called the Unity Club wherein he organized students to work with special needs students to help them have a volleyball game and a talent show.

It is heartening in times like these to know that there are young people like Brooks Valentine ready to lead and to help others.  Supporting students like these is what WNC Communities has sought to do through these programs.  To date,177 promising students have received a total of $185,500 to help them continue to grow through the generous donations of our funders.

If you would like to contribute to our scholarship program to expand our impact, please click here.