Rotary scholarships uppedPublished 8:30pm Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Washington, Southside high school winners announced
Two rising college freshmen will get a helping hand for school expenses courtesy of Washington Noon Rotary.
Kyle White, a graduate of Southside High School, and Dylan Cutler, graduate of Washington High School, were each awarded $1,500 by Barbara Tansey, president of Beaufort County Community College and chair of Washington Noon Rotary’s scholarship committee.
Around 15 students applied for the scholarship, but, according to Tansey, Cutler and White epitomized the qualities the committee was looking for: academic achievement, school attendance, community involvement, good character, good citizenship and evidence of a genuine interest in his or her fellow man.
“I just thought they were amazing. We all did. They just kind of blew us away,” Tansey said of the two winners.
White’s list of extracurricular activities is long. He worked as a certified soccer referee for three years of high school, served as executive president junior and senior at SHS, as FFA vice president and was a member of the Math Club and Beta Club Honor Society. He played soccer, varsity basketball and was the baseball team’s captain, the football team’s place-kicker and punter and served as a SHS summer basketball camp leader. He also volunteered with Special Olympics, Vacation Bbible School and served as a youth minister intern.
White will attend Campbell University, where he plans to study math.
Cutler may be going off to the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, but after he majors is physical therapy, he plans to bring his practice home to eastern North Carolina. At Washington High School, Cutler was president of the student body, the National Honor Society and the FTA. The varsity football captain, member of both the track and field and wrestling teams, Cutler rounded out his volunteerism through Vidant Beaufort Hospital, Special Olympics and through special-needs baseball league ExCell.
“They were so genuine. During their video interviews, they were so personable,” Tansey said, adding that both demonstrated a commitment to coming back and serving eastern North Carolina.
Washington Noon Rotary has been handing out scholarships since its founding in 1992, but this year brought some changes: an increase in the dollar amount of the scholarships and the fact that interviews with candidates incorporated the schools’ interactive TV. Applicants answered six questions from Washington Noon Rotary’s scholarship committee in real time from their schools, while committee members did the interviewing from BCCC.
“We tried to make the whole thing electronic, that way we didn’t have people running back and forth and shuffling papers down the road,” Tansey said. “By making it electronic, it made it easier on all of us.”
According to long-term Washington Noon Rotarian Jim Hackney, the rising cost of college and the success of fundraisers inspired Rotarians to raise the award amount from $1,000 to $1,500. Proceeds from Rotary’s annual Reverse Raffle and the fall barbecue event, Smoke on the Water, provide the funds.
“It was a really exciting process to see such a pool of talent and giving people,” Tansey said. “They’re the kind of people we all want our kids to be.”