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Connestee Falls scholarship winner spotlighted

By Debbie Loeb

Not many young people grow up knowing exactly what they want to do in life. Rhiannon Barnes is the exception and was a 2022 winner of a Connestee Falls Student Scholarship. She graduated in May from Blue Ridge Community College with an Associate Nursing Degree and will begin working with Mission Hospital in the next few months. She was one of the first students to take the new NGN format of the National Council Licensure Examination which focuses on critical thinking and case studies. And she passed it with flying colors! She credits her success to her diligent and daily routine of studying.

Rhiannon has three younger siblings and graduated from Brevard High School in 2008. She participated in the Art Guild and was on the Swim Team in High School. Over the past years, Rhiannon has worked at Rocky’s, Marco’s and Ecusta Brewery. While studying at BRCC she was a nursing tutor as well.

Her interest in nursing began as a child. At age sixteen, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma and spent a great deal of time in Pediatric ICU. Rhiannon reports that “the nurses inspired me to want to dedicate my life to nursing and taking care of others who are sick.” She will begin her nursing career at Mission Hospital in the ICU and looks forward to using her skills to help those in our community.

Rhiannon’s goals are to continue her education and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. After that, she hopes to continue on to graduate school. With her determination and incredible ambition Rhiannon’s future looks bright. She shared that the “Connestee Falls Scholarship enabled her to stay focused on her studies, provided monies for textbooks, and clothing required for the nursing program.” She is thankful to the businesses and individuals who donated to the Connestee Falls Student Scholarship Program (CFSSP).

She says she has little time for social life. However, Rhiannon enjoys Vinyasa Yoga, walking, and playing trivia.

Since 1987, the CFSSP has helped hundreds of Transylvania County students continue their education beyond high school. Since its inception, the program has raised over $1.7 million in scholarship awards for Blue Ridge Community College, Brevard College, and Transylvania County Schools. For those interested in learning more about the scholarship fund and fundraising activities, or wanting to donate visit the CFSSP website at

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