Congratulations to 28 students who were named as Self-Help Scholars this year! Each Self-Help branch has an opportunity to select a student based on applications that include a description of volunteer community service activities. Each winning student has received $1,000 to help pay for college or vocational school (except our Galax, Virginia winners, twin sisters who agreed to split the scholarship).
Pursuing higher education was hard enough before the current pandemic struck, and now there are more challenges than ever as many students shift to online learning instead of in-person classes. We urge all of our scholars, whether taking courses online or on campus, to be safe while learning and to continue seeking opportunities to serve in their communities.
Please take a moment to check out some of our leaders of the future! Scholarship winners are listed by branch location:
Apopka, FL - Lilianna Alvarez
Lilianna currently attends Valencia College in Apopka, Florida. She aspires to be a Forensic Psychologist and hopes to create awareness of mental health issues in the Latino community, specifically for young immigrants. She volunteers at the Hope Community Center.
Asheville, NC - Aryeon Alise Warren Shivers
Aryeon attends NC A&T State University pursuing a Bachelors in Psychology. Her future goals include working with children to make a better life for them. She volunteers at her church preschool program, a local nursing home coordinating activities for residents, and Habitat for Humanity.
Asheville (South) - Chandler Jackson
Chandler plans to attend either East Tennessee State University or UNC-Asheville to study biology and possibly pursue a career in pharmacology. His community service includes Toys For Tots, volunteer reading in an elementary school, and also collecting baseball equipment for children in the Dominican Republic.
Brevard, NC – Marleigh Meals
Marleigh is a 2020 graduate of Sandy Falls Academy. She plans to attend Marantha Baptist University to study nursing. Her community service includes volunteering at a local nursing home, after school programs, as a Sunday school teacher, and as a clothing drive coordinator.
Charlotte, NC – Poulleth Atziry Jimenez Rios
Pouleeth currently attends Queens University pursuing a career in nursing. She hopes to become a neo-natal, labor and delivery nurse and eventually a Nurse Practitioner. Pouleeth serves as treasurer for the University’s Rotaract Club and has contributed her time to Operation Christmas Child and making blankets and sandwiches for people without homes.
Charlotte, NC – (FLCCU) – Marcus Manley
Marcus currently attends Queens University in Charlotte where he is majoring in Business Marketing. His community service work includes Trees Charlotte, Greater Charlotte Buddy Walk and Brown’s Athlete League.
Columbia, SC (Assembly) – Kyra Alexander
Kyra is a 2020 graduate of Ridge View High School. She plans to attend Hampton University to major in kinesiology. Her community service includes volunteering at Harvest Hope Food Bank, SC Wreaths Across America and Moncrief Army Medical Clinic.
Columbia, SC (Bush River) - Jordan Kuck
Jordan is a 2020 graduate of Edisto High School. She is enrolled to attend Greenville Technical College. She plans to pursue a certification in Aesthetics and an Associate’s Degree in Human Services. She volunteers extensively with her church through mission trips and community events and has volunteered with the Special Olympics for several years.
Durham, NC (123) – Traci Thompson
Traci attends UNC-Chapel Hill, pursuing a Master of Public Administration. Her community contributions include recruitment for political engagement, racial equity and advocacy. She hopes her education and community involvement will allow her to continue as a public servant in community development.
Galax, VA – Kaitlyn and Hailey Edwards
Twins, Kaitlyn and Hailey are 2020 graduates of Carroll County High School and both are planning to attend Radford University. Both of them have volunteered and served their community in a variety of activities, including summer camps, trash pick-ups, and Christmas fund collections.
Greensboro, NC – Tyler Rhodes
Tyler is a 2020 graduate of High Point Central High School. He plans to attend NC State University to pursue a career in Engineering. Tyler has logged over 600 hours of community service and was named “High School Star Volunteer."
Hendersonville, NC - Jeffrey Smith
Jeffrey is a 2020 graduate of West Henderson High School. He plans to attend one of a few universities where he has been accepted and major in business and minor in sports marketing. He enjoys teaching tennis in both Transylvania and Henderson County.
Jacksonville, FL (Jax Metro, JEA) – Paris Richardson
Paris is a 2020 graduate of Jean Ribault Senior High. She plans to attend The University of Florida and study exercise Physiology with future aspirations to become an oncologist. Paris has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House and even developed her own service-based organization called Paris’s Pals to assist human trafficking victims through an organization called Rethreaded.
Jacksonville, FL (JEA Kendall) – Maya McCall
Maya is a 2020 graduate of Episcopal School of Jacksonville. She plans to attend Jacksonville University to Major in Speech Communication Sciences and Disorders. Her volunteer work at Ronald McDonald House has had a direct impact on her life.
Jacksonville, FL (JEA Lenox) – Caia Davis
Caia is 2020 graduate of Jean Ribault High School. She plans to attend the University of Florida. Caia volunteer work includes food service at a local mission, mentoring and event planning.
Kinston, NC – Angela Duran
Angela is a 2020 graduate of Greene Central High School. She plans to attend Pitt Community College to acquire an Associates Degree in Medical Sonography. Her community service includes food drives and volunteering for the Special Olympics.
Laurinburg, NC - Alexis Patterson
Alexis is a 2020 Scotland Early College High School. She plans to attend UNC-Charlotte to study Biology Eventually she hopes to become a Pediatric Oncologist. She has volunteered as a teacher assistant, a first-grade volunteer, and managed the recycling program for her school. Additionally, she has volunteered at her local health department and Scotland Memorial Hospital.
Lexington, NC - David Conklin
David is a rising sophomore at the University of NC at Pembroke where he’s studying chemistry and pre-pharmacy. David volunteers at a local food pantry.
Maiden, NC – Anthony Dye
Anthony is a 2020 graduate of Hunter Huss High School and plans to attend Presbyterian College. He has volunteered at Habitat for Humanity and Keep Gastonia Beautiful, Inc.
Morganton, NC – Zachary Laibinis
Zachary is a 2020 graduate of Freedom High School. He plans to attend the University of NC at Chapel Hill. His long-term career goal is to become a physician’s assistant in emergency medicine. Through his various club affiliations, he has logged several volunteer hours, his favorite being clean-up at Lake James.
Old Fort, NC – Anna Roland
Anna is currently attending Western Carolina University to pursue a career in elementary education. She volunteers with her church and is a Book Buddy at a local elementary school.
Pierson, FL - Jose Cervantes
Jose plans to attend Stetson University and study Health Sciences. He has volunteered for International Coastal Cleanup, after-school programs, food drives, and Spanish literacy programs.
Rocky Mount, NC – Tarod Brown
Tarod attends Winston-Salem University where he studies Business Administration. He has volunteered helping the elderly with the University’s community outreach program and at Rocky Mount Community Center.
Rosman, NC – Callie Owen
Callie is a 2020 graduate of Rosman High School. She plans to attend Gardner Webb University to study Elementary Education. Her community service includes playing the piano at local assisted living facilities, local food drives, and various opportunities at her church.
Wilmington, NC – Gabrielle Laraia
Gabrielle attends UNC at Chapel Hill. Her major course of study is Neuroscience. She aspires to be a surgeon and a global health care worker. Gabrielle supports and volunteers with many organizations including service in Belize and Africa.
Wilson, NC – Kyra Woodard
Kyra attends Wilson Community College. Her major course of study is English with a minor in Communications. She aspires to be a creative writer. She serves her community through her church by participating in food and clothing drives.
Windsor, NC – Aren Buffaloe
Aren is a 2020 graduate of Hertford County Early College. He plans to attend NC A&T University to study Architectural Engineering, English and Creative Writing. Aren has volunteered extensively at Vidant Medical Center and through his church and other community organizations.
Thanks to all the branch managers and many other Self-Help staff who took time to evaluate applications and help coordinate this program.