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On Friday, January 13, and Thursday, January 19, 2017, the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program, represented by Chair Roxi Hewertson and School Liaison Bill Medl, delivered checks totaling $79,500 to Brevard College, Blue Ridge Community College, and Transylvania County Schools, to help their students obtain a college education.

At the first event, Brevard College President David Joyce reflected on his own experience with scholarship assistance. He had been told in high school that he was not “college material.” Nonetheless, he applied and was admitted to Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, North Carolina. He recounted that he was in his third year at Pfeiffer when he realized that his finances would not be sufficient to allow him to continue his education. Much to his amazement, the college awarded him a full scholarship, and he defied the expectations of his high school counselor by not only graduating from Pfeiffer but also going on to complete his education with a doctorate in human resource development.

In 1973 Joyce had the opportunity to meet the donor of his Pfeiffer scholarship money, Bryan Moore. Years later, when he arrived at Brevard College to interview for the position of President, he was awed to learn of the Bryan Moore Science Building at the college. He felt that he had come full circle, and he realized “the importance of paying it forward.” He is delighted to be helping BC students progress towards the futures they want, just as Bryan Moore helped him.

Continuing the theme of paying it forward at Transylvania County Schools, both Arleca Chapman, Director of Career and Technical Education and Student Services, and Superintendant Jeff McDaris described the donations from the Scholarship Program as benefitting the community at large. McDaris noted that the established partnership between Connestee Falls and Transylvania County Schools represents a reinvestment in the community because many of the students who have been scholarship recipients return to Brevard, to the benefit of all.

Glenda McCarson, Associate Vice President at the Transylvania County Campus of Blue Ridge Community College, observed that the Connestee Falls scholarships contribute to the continued diversity of the student body by supporting students who might not otherwise be able to attend college. Two such students are Renee Martinez and Porshlyn Owen. Ms. Martinez just graduated from BRCC and is continuing her studies as a medical assistant in the new BRCC Health Sciences Center. Renee is also an experienced interpreter; during her time at BRCC, she acted in that capacity at the Transylvania County Detention Center. Ms. Owen , an art student at Blue Ridge, is preparing to work on a mural for the BRCC library. She not only creates art for herself and the school community, she also works at a group home where she helps the residents use art therapy, an area which she hopes to continue to pursue. The aspirations and work of these two young women, along with those of the more than 500 other students who have received scholarships in the past 29 years, illustrate the importance of the continuing efforts of the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program and its community and business sponsors.

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