2012 Scholarship Recipients
Kaitlyn Barrow’s mothers’ diagnosis with MS dramatically changed her perception of the world. “I have found that through life’s many obstacles, I can always rely on my family. MS has shown me that I am much stronger than I ever imagined I would or could be. I realize that it’s not my strength that drives me on, but it’s my mothers’ that propels me to reach and achieve all my goals.” Kaitlyn is a graduate of Edgecombe Early College High School in Tarboro, NC where she was a member of National Honor Society, Anchor Club, and Prom Committee. She worked hard to maintain an “A” average and graduated in the top 20% of her class. She was involved in her community with the Salvation Army and Relay for Life. Kaitlyn plans to study at Parsons the New School for Design in New York, NY.
Courtney Beasley of Edenton, NC is a graduate of John A. Holes High School. She is hardworking, dedicated, and committed to success for herself, peers, school, community, and education. Throughout high school, Courtney was the President of the Student Government Association, member of National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society, as well as Vice President of the Sophomore Class and President of the Junior Class. Courtney, whose mother has MS, worked hard to remain on the A/B honor roll all four years of high school. Courtney plans to study Chemistry at East Carolina University. She hopes to be able to give back to her community by becoming a pharmacist.
Wade Biltoft of Spartanburg, SC is a graduate of Boiling Springs High School. Wade’s mother struggles with MS, and he says, “Not only has she inspired me, but she has shown me that despite your hardships in life, you can overcome anything in your path and make the best of your life.” He was a member of Beta Club, ACS Chemistry Club, BSHS Track Team, and received an Athletic Scholar Award from his local newspaper. Wade will attend the University of South Carolina-Columbia to study pre-med this fall. He hopes to attend the Medical University of South Carolina for med school afterwards and become an orthopedic surgeon, concentrating in sports medicine, which he has been involved with in high school.
Olivia Dalzell of Charlotte, NC is a graduate of Providence High School. Olivia, whose mother was diagnosed with MS her junior year, maintained a job teaching at Matthew’s Playhouse throughout high school, while helping her mother grocery shop, prepare meals, and clean the house. Olivia believes her mother’s diagnosis has made her a stronger person and has allowed her to grow from this experience. Olivia gave back to the community with her involvement with the Humane Society, Women and Men’s Shelter, Harvest Food Bank, Operation Christmas Child, and Walk MS. She also participated in youth group, Musical Theater Company, Thespian Society, and won the “Best Actress” award at Providence. Olivia plans to attend the University of North Carolina-Greensboro to study Theater Arts.
Holly Springs, NC
Whitney Fleming of Holly Springs, NC is a graduate of Holly Springs High School. She has a passion for helping people, especially her mother who has MS. To support herself, Whitney worked at Dreamsports Center and the YMCA and was a babysitter, pet sitter, and mama’s helper. Throughout high school she was active in Tri-M Musical Honors Society, Book Club, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Drama, Show Choir, and was a Physical Education Pupil Instructor. In her community, she has been involved with Walk MS and the Special Olympics. Whitney plans to attend Liberty University in Lynchburg, VA to study Communications.
Despite his father’s severe struggle with MS, Nathan graduated in the top 5% of his class with many high honors from North Iredell High School in Olin, NC. He found solace in his school’s marching and concert band and participated in community activities such as volunteering at Iredell County Public Library, Ruritans, and Providence United Methodist Youth. Nathan was outstanding in his academics and received the President’s Volunteer Service Silver Award, NC State Park Scholar High School Nominee, Junior Marshall, National Honor Society, two Math Fair Awards, three Band Awards, the Instrumentalist Magazine Merit Award, and the Drum Line Award. Nathan plans to attend North Carolina State University to study Engineering, concentrating in Chemical and Paper Science.
Carey was in the top 10% of her graduating class at Gaston Christian School in Gastonia, NC. She was President of the National Beta Club, as well as an active member of Interact Club, the Yearbook Staff, and Spirit Club. Carey was also a dynamic part of the Varsity Swim Team and Varsity Volleyball. She was involved in Walk for Life, Community Blood Drive, and Operation Christmas Child. Her mother’s recent diagnosis of MS has brought her family closer together in trying to find the positive in the impact of the disease. Carey’s strength in character and perseverance has allowed her to succeed in almost everything she does. Carey plans to attend the University of South Carolina-Columbia to study Exercise Science and eventually becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist.
Jonathan Hyatt of Taylors, SC is a graduate of Riverside High School in Greer, NC. Jonathan, whose mother has MS, supports his family by taking his brother to and from school, picking up his mother from work, and helping with household responsibilities. He has a strong desire to work with people and plans to do mission work throughout his life. He helps people develop their Christian faith in relation to the personal problems they experience. Jonathan says, “Stepping back from the day-to-day schedule of our lives helps us realize what we really have. I can say without a doubt in my heart that we have all been blessed. We weren't afflicted with a mom who has multiple sclerosis; we were blessed with the gift of a beautiful, humble, and affectionate mom who just happened to be a little sick. A mom who loves her children and wants them to live lives that matter. A mom who wants to see us run and grow. A mom who wants us to be healthy, but can completely relate to us when we aren't.” Jonathan will attend Greenville Technical College in the fall for Social and Behavioral Studies.
Shannon Kissane of Mooresville, NC is a graduate of Lake Norman High School where she was the founder of the Kind Act Club and a member of the Student Council, Interact Club, and Spanish Club. She worked as a hostess at Sabi Asian Bistro and Kobe Hero Japanese Steakhouse for extra support. Shannon strives for success and has a desire to excel in all that she undertakes. She also has an interest in diverse cultures and lifestyles. Her father struggles with MS and she says, “The disease has not gotten rid of his humor or the simple joy in his laughs and it will never take mine away, either.” Shannon plans to attend Appalachian State University and major in International Business with a minor in Nutrition. She wishes to travel the world and learn how different people from different cultures deal with disease so she bring the best remedies for disease from around the globe to others.
Alexandra Nelson of Asheville, NC is a graduate of Batavia High School in Batavia, IL. She received many awards throughout high school, including Honor Roll, St. Cecelia Award, Community Service Award, and first place in poetry at the Upstate 8 Literary Festival. Alexandra stayed active with her involvement in the Orchestra, Drama Club, and various school service projects. Motivated by her mother who has MS, Alexandra hopes to become a doctor and eventually join the Doctors without Borders program. “My mother’s fight against MS has inspired me to work hard in school and create goals for myself. She’s inspired me to hold onto the things I am passionate about.” Alexandra plans to attend the University of North Carolina-Charlotte to study Biology and Pre-Med.
Shannon Smith of Leland, NC was diagnosed with MS when she was 15. Despite the hardship of her diagnosis, she graduated in the top 10% of her class at North Brunswick High School and stayed involved with as many school and community activities as possible. She held two part-time jobs throughout school for extra income and played an important role in helping out at home. For Shannon’s senior project, she put on a Walk for MS at her school around the track and raised $1400 that she donated to the National MS Society. She has faced diversity with her head held high. Shannon plans to continue her education at Cape Fear Community College to study Radiography.
Angela Sneed of Kittrell, NC is a graduate of Franklinton High School. She graduated in the top 10% of her class and received honors such as the A/B Honor Roll all four years, National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, National Achievers Society, and the highest math average in the NC State Upward Bound Program. Angela was active in Franklinton’s Student Government, Key Club, Track Team, and Drama Club. She gave back to the community through Relay for Life, volunteering at Youngsville Elementary School and the Special Olympics, and mentoring for the Dream Team and Teen Pep. Not only did Angela achieve great things in her high school and community, she contributed over 20 hours a week to assisting her father, who has MS, with daily activities and providing transportation for her mother. Angela will attend the University of North Carolina- Charlotte to study Chemistry, Pre-Med. She plans to attend medical school and hopes to become a Pediatric Physician at a children’s hospital.
Brooke Steele of Lenoir, NC is a graduate of Hibriten High School. She was active throughout high school with her involvement in the school theatre, Beauty Pageants, dance, and volunteering at Caldwell Memorial Hospital. Brooke spent a lot of her time at home taking care of her mother, doing the laundry, cleaning the dishes, and being responsible for her twelve year old brother. She interned at Mulberry Pediatrics to get medical experience in a real life setting and also worked as a cashier at Lowe’s Foods. Brooke plans to get her Associate’s Degree from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.
Kelsey Thomas graduated in the top 5% of her class at Colleton County High School in Walterboro, SC. She received honors in Academic Letter, received the Gold Paw Award and Good Citizenship Award, and was a member in the National Honor Society. Kelsey participated in her community as Team Captain in the Bowling League and volunteer at the Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity. Outside of school she also worked at Dairy Land for long hours throughout the week and took care of her sisters to help out her mother and father, who has MS. Kelsey plans to attend the University of South Carolina- Columbia and study Accounting.