The students – Gracey Hailey, Isabel Jones, Deanna Upchurch and Serena Campeau -- were honored at the luncheon. This is the first set of scholarships EMTAR has awarded, said Jeff Jolly, chairman of the scholarship committee.
“We would naturally want to award excellence since we provide excellence in our daily lives,” Jolly said. “It’s just natural that we would want to honor our young people.”
Hailey, who graduated from Friendship Christian School, plans to attend the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga in the fall. She received a $500 Martin Cummings memorial scholarship.
Jones, who also graduated from Friendship Christian, plans to attend Tennessee Tech. She received a $500 Karen Lowe scholarship.
Campeau, who graduated from Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, also plans to attend Tennessee Tech. She received a $1,000 Karen Lowe scholarship.
Upchurch, who plans to a year off to travel to Morocco to study Arabic, will attend George Washington University. She was awarded a $1,000 Martin Cummings memorial scholarship.
“There are four scholarships we’re giving – our two $1,000 scholarships and two $500 scholarships,” Jolly said. Two of them are Martin Cummings memorial scholarships. Martin was a well-loved leader in the real estate industry in Wilson County for many, many years. The board wanted to honor him with a $1,000 and a $500 scholarship. The other person we want to honor our own Karen Lowe. Those who know her, know how much enthusiasm she brings as our executive director as we appreciate her.”
One of the main jobs of the committee was to develop an application that was worked out over a few months. The process began in February, and the application was in three parts, academic and community achievements, church involvement and leadership work. The second part was a 500-word essay as to why the students needed the scholarship and what they would do with it. The third part required three references from people who knew the applicant.
Jolly said the committee received applications from every high school, public and private, as well as home school students from Wilson County.
“It’s an awesome thing that you are here today because you are the cream of the crop,” he said.