Prospects Compete for BC Scholarships
Bluefield College recently hosted some of the region’s most outstanding high school students in a competition for full scholarships to attend the private Christian college.
April 25, 2012
Pictured (left to right) President David Olive; Junetta Nuckels of Richlands, Virginia; Ashley Van Meter of Lincolnton, North Carolina; Lauren Webster of Ringgold, Virginia; Matthew Raner of Summerfield, North Carolina; Ciera Jayne Conkle of Douglassville, Pennsylvania; Daniel Griffin of Greensboro, North Carolina; Kate Keukelaar of Macedon, New York; Dakota Duckworth of Daleville, Virginia; Rachel Cochran of Chantilly, Virginia; Shelby Wolfe of Pittsboro, North Carolina; Jessica Meadows of Danville, Virginia; Alisha Abbey of Bluefield, West Virginia; Peirce Rigney of Pulaski, Virginia; Heather Bailey of North Tazewell, Virginia; Renee Robbins of Chesapeake, Virginia; Andrea Armbrester of Stuart, Virginia; Hannah Winter of Amelia, Virginia; Megan Tennant of Linville, North Carolina; and John Paul Shackelford of Rose Hill, Virginia.
The 19 exceptional high school students competing in BC’s Presidential Scholars Day -- Alisha Abbey of Bluefield, West Virginia; Andrea Armbrester of Stuart, Virginia; Heather Bailey of North Tazewell, Virginia; Rachel Cochran of Chantilly, Virginia; Ciera Jayne Conkle of Douglassville, Pennsylvania; Dakota Duckworth of Daleville, Virginia; Daniel Griffin of Greensboro, North Carolina; Kate Keukelaar of Macedon, New York; Jessica Meadows of Danville, Virginia; Junetta Nuckels of Richlands, Virginia; Matthew Raner of Summerfield , North Carolina; Peirce Rigney of Pulaski, Virginia; Renee Robbins of Chesapeake, Virginia; John Paul Shackelford of Rose Hill, Virginia; Megan Tennant of Linville, North Carolina; Ashley Van Meter of Lincolnton, North Carolina; Lauren Webster of Ringgold, Virginia; Hannah Winter of Amelia, Virginia; and Shelby Wolfe of Pittsboro, North Carolina -- spent an hour and a half developing a written composition during an essay portion of Presidential Scholars Day, and then went before a Presidential Scholarship Committee to respond to questions during an interview segment of the event.
To even compete for the Presidential Scholarships, the students had to have a 3.75 cumulative high school grade point average and a 1,100 composite math and verbal SAT score or a 25 ACT score. They also had to submit two letters of recommendation from current teachers. The rigorous application process, said Mark Hipes, BC’s director of traditional admissions, is reserved for the best prospective students and the most coveted student scholarship award.
“The Presidential Scholarship covers everything -- full tuition, room, and board,” said Hipes. “It’s our most prized scholarship reserved for the most deserving students.”
Following an evaluation period and based on their academic credentials, essays and interviews, two of the prospective students will be selected to receive the school’s most valuable scholarship award, the full ride Presidential Scholarship. Four will earn Spire Scholarships to cover half their expenses to attend BC. The remaining students will receive other competitive financial aid packages.
BC Presidential Scholarships are worth $29,120 a year for a four-year total award of $116,480. Spire Scholarships, symbolically named to represent the spire on BC’s Harman Chapel, are valued at $14,560 a year for a four-year total award of $58,240.
“The steeple, oftentimes rising above roof tops and tree lines -- as does Harman Chapel’s as you arrive into Bluefield -- reminds all of us of something beyond ourselves,” said BC president, Dr. David Olive. “It reminds us of Christ’s presence among us in the communities in which we live, work and serve, a presence that we embody through our acts of love, kindness, grace and forgiveness. I believe it is most appropriate that Bluefield College has this prominent, powerful vestige on its campus, for it truly represents who we are and what we aspire to be.”
BC’s Presidential Scholars Day also included a luncheon for the prospective students and their families, along with a keynote address from Harry Snodgrass, associate professor and chair of the Division of Business, who spoke about the benefits of a Christ-centered liberal arts education.
Of the 19 outstanding high school students competing for the Bluefield College scholarships, Abbey is a member of the National Honor Society and the Debate Club at Bluefield High School. She also serves on the Bacheloretta Committee and Project Graduation and is the drum major for the BHS Band. She has received the English and Trigonometry awards at Bluefield High and is a 2008 West Virginia Golden Horseshoe recipient.
Armbrester is a member of the Senior Beta Club and is captain of the Science Scale Team at Patrick County High School, where she has received the Algebra 1, English 11, Art 4, Nutrition and Wellness, and Chemistry Awards. Outside of school, she is a 4-H counselor in training and has received the Girl Scouts of America Silver and Gold Awards. She also is a member of her church’s worship and Bible Bowl teams.
Bailey is a member of the Senior Beta Club, Teens for Christ Club, and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) at Tazewell High School. She also is a CADRE leader, a Principal’s Award winner, a four-year member of All-District Choir, and a founding member of the Bluegrass Club. Outside of school, she is a youth leader and youth music director at her church, a member of Youth on Missions, and a member of the Tazewell County Career and Technical Advisory Committee.
Cochran, a home-schooled student, is the recipient of a Stars and Stripes Award from the American Heritage Girls for a service project she completed that included 100 hours of updating a local library. In fact, last year alone, she spent more than 200 hours in community service. In addition, she is an American Girl Scout, a teacher with Mission and Music Friends, and a past resident of Korea and Germany.
Conkle is a member of the National Honor Society at the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School. She is also a musician, athlete, knitter, and health and fitness guru. With a heart for raising awareness of homelessness, she also volunteers at a local food pantry.
Duckworth is the top academic student in her class and a member of the National Honor Society at Lord Botetourt High School. She also plays soccer for her school and for the competitive Stars in the Roanoke Valley. In addition, she is an active member of Bonsack Baptist Church.
Griffin, a home-schooled student, is a three-sport athlete in baseball, golf, and football. He also is the drummer for his church worship band and serves on the Advisory Board for Journey’s youth ministry. In addition, he has been a part of mission teams to Jamaica and Poland.
Keukelaar is a Wendy’s High School Heisman and the team captain on her softball, volleyball and soccer teams at Finger Lakes Christian School. She also is the recipient of Outstanding Achievement Awards in math, history, Spanish, and language arts and has been recognized for Outstanding Academic Excellence in the President’s Education Awards Program. At her church, Keukelaar has coordinated Vacation Bible School, is a worship band member, and serves as a Sunday School teacher.
Meadows is a member of the Tunstall High School Beta Club, Interact Club, and Trojan Club. She also serves as vice president of Student Council and her junior class and is co-captain of the school’s cheerleading squad. In addition, she is a Silver Award recipient for the Girl Scouts of America. She also has interned for the Pittsylvania Historical Society and writes poetry that has been published twice.
Nuckels is a member of CADRE, FBLA, the Beta Club, the Physics Club, and Student Council at Richlands High School. There, she also is secretary of her senior class and captain and the number one seed of the girls? varsity tennis team. She has volunteered at Clinch Valley Medical Center and is a current youth intern at the Historic Crab Orchard Museum in Tazewell, Virginia. An active member of Hill Creek Baptist Church, she is involved in youth and music ministry.
Raner, a home-schooled student, is a member of the National Honor Society and a recipient of the Wright Brothers Award. He also is a member of Students for Life and is captain of his football team. In addition, Raner serves as a chief master sergeant in the Civil Air Patrol.
Rigney is a member of the Pulaski County High School football team, where he has received numerous awards, including the All-Timesland Sizzlin’ Award. He also was a member of the 2011 Virginia Boys State and earned an Eagle Scout distinction for his efforts to renovate a local church storage facility using reclaimed wood from demolished homes.
Robbins, a home-schooled student, is the winner of a Nobility Award for outstanding character, citizenship, and spiritual leadership. An aspiring musician, she began playing the violin at age six and has since won the Bay Youth Orchestra of Virginia’s Seasoned Musician Award and performed with the Virginia Symphony. With an added passion for language arts, including both French and Latin, she has taken the National Latin Scholars Exam.
Shackelford is vice president of the Beta Club and a member of the First Priority Leadership Team, FBLA, the Science Club, and the Library Club at Thomas Walker High School. There, he also is an award-winning member of the baseball and football teams. Outside of school, he is an active member of the Ewing Church of the Brethren and Boy Scouts of America, where he recently earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
Tennant is a member of Future Farmers of America, Student Government Association, and National Honor Society at Avery County High School, where she also plays basketball and volleyball. An aspiring veterinarian, she has participated in rodeo competitions since the age of two.
Van Meter is a member of the Key Club, Beta Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and National Honor Society at Lincolnton High School. He also plays soccer, the trombone, and has danced competitively.
Webster is president of Student Council and the Beta Club and a member of the Science Club at Dan River High School, where she also plays softball and volleyball. Outside of school, she works for Chick-Fil-A and has joined their marketing team. She also is active at her church, serving the area homeless and traveling abroad on mission trips.
Winter, a home-schooled student, is an avid musician, playing both the piano and drums. She is a member of the worship team at Amelia Community Church and edits Chesterfield Christian Academy’s newsletter and yearbook. In addition, she coaches a recreation league soccer team and teaches physical education to home-schooled students at the U-Turn Sports Academy.
Wolfe is a recipient of an Academic Excellence Award and a AAA Scholar-Athlete honor at Northwood High School, where she also earned Carolina 12 Conference Player of the Year, All-District, and All-Conference honors. She also is a member of the Spanish National Honor Society at Northwood.