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Students in Halifax and Northampton counties are among 215 from rural North Carolina to receive up to a $14,000 Golden LEAF scholarship.

The students from Halifax County are KySaan Bevier of Weldon High School — Elizabeth City State University; Taylor Everette of Hobgood Charter School — UNC at Wilmington; Abigail Gray of Roanoke Rapids Early College — UNC at Chapel Hill; Janaya Knight of Roanoke Valley Early College — Winston-Salem State; and Ny’Asia Ponton of Gaston College Prep — North Carolina Central University.

The Northampton County students are Amya Harmon of Northampton County Early College — North Carolina A&T; and Kennedy Hatcher of Northeast Academy — N.C. State.

“Congratulations to the students in my district who have received the Golden LEAF Scholarship,” said Senator Bobby Hanig. “This prestigious scholarship is given to students who are committed to improving their rural communities and each student is deserving of this opportunity. I am very proud of them and what their future holds.”

State Representative Michael Wray said, “It is such a pleasure to offer congratulations to the Golden LEAF Scholarship recipients from my district. Your willingness to pursue an education and return to your home county in the future is a strong indicator of future success for not only our rural communities but also our entire state.”

High school seniors entering college as first year students are eligible for a $3,500 scholarship each year for up to four years of undergraduate study at a participating four-year North Carolina college or university. Community college transfer students are eligible for $3,500 a year for up to three years of undergraduate study.

Recipients from rural or economically distressed North Carolina counties are selected based on future career goals and an expressed intent to contribute to the stateʼs rural communities upon graduation from college.

The Golden LEAF Foundation established the Golden LEAF Scholarship Program to broaden educational opportunities and provide support to students from rural counties with the goal that recipients will return and contribute to rural communities after graduation. 

The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority administers the program and selects students for awards.

“We are proud to award scholarships to hardworking and bright students with deep roots in their rural communities,” said Scott T. Hamilton, Golden LEAF Foundation president and CEO. “These students were selected out of a pool of nearly 2,000 applicants. We look forward to the future success of these scholarship recipients as they follow their education pursuits and develop into North Carolina's next generation of rural leaders.”

Scholarship recipients may also apply for the Golden LEAF Rural Internship Initiative. 

The Rural Internship Initiative provides Golden LEAF Scholars with professional work experience related to their career field in a rural North Carolina community. The Golden LEAF Foundation provides funding to pay interns $15 per hour for up to 400 hours of work. Internships take place between May and August.