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Scholarship recipient: a cheerleader for the community

Updated: May 23, 2023

Debbie Loeb Jul 29, 2022

Not many young people grow up thinking about volunteering and giving back to the community. Shannon Ropp is the exception and a recent winner of a Connestee Falls student scholarship. As a Transylvania native, she is enrolled this fall in the emergency medical science program at Blue Ridge Community College and is excited to fulfill a lifelong dream. With a twinkle in her eyes, Ropp shared that she is a believer in ”gifts of the spirit” and her gift is one of helping and encouraging others.

It is no wonder Ropp is focusing on a higher degree. As a child she grew up in Rosman and vividly remembers playing in the Rosman Rescue Squad building – running around and watching others respond to emergency calls. Both of her parents volunteered there. Ropp’s father, Terry Whitmire served as a Deputy in the Transylvania County Sheriff’s office for many years. Aaron, her brother, worked for the Brevard Police Department.

Ropp graduated from Rosman High School more than 20 years ago where she was a cheerleader and worked part time at Winn Dixie supermarket. She then entered the Air Force for a short time, married and had two sons. She was a youth pastor cheering on young adults at Open Arms Tabernacle for over 10 years. Ropp’s heart for volunteering led her to the Transylvania County Rescue Squad. She knew after her first call to Graveyard Fields that rescuing others was her calling.

Ropp attended Blue Ridge Community College and received her basic EMT certificate in 2019. She just received her advanced EMT certificate in 2022 and is looking forward to beginning her training for the EMT paramedic degree.

“There is no way I could afford this schooling without the help of a Connestee Falls scholarship,” she said. “I am so grateful for the opportunity and will do my best to earn every penny of the scholarship. I say thank you to all the businesses, donors and supporters of this wonderful scholarship program.”

Listening to Ropp’s excitement about her future work as a paramedic in Transylvania County – whether crisis health issues, firefighting – or rescue there is no doubt she is ready and willing to take on a challenge. She currently wears many hats as she transitions from the Transylvania County Rescue Squad as a full-time paid staff back to a volunteer.

In her spare time Ropp also volunteers at the Rosman Fire Department and enjoys running, hiking, gardening and crocheting. That does not leave a lot of time for herself with her free time, with her time spent cheerleading others who are in need of rescue.

“Rescue work takes fortitude and grit,” Ropp said She definitely possesses both. For those interested in learning more about the scholarship fund and fundraising activities, visit the CFSSP website at

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