HANCEVILLE, Ala. — Wallace State Community College President Dr. Vicki Karolewics presented scholarships to several students at Hanceville High School’s Awards Day this week. All of the students who were gifted with such awards worked hard for every one, but one of the students had a little more gumption — and a good memory — when it came to seeking out a scholarship.
“Six years ago I was invited to speak to the sixth grade class in celebration of reading,” Dr. Karolewics said as she led up to her last presentation. On that day, she spoke to the students about her love of reading and shared passages from some of her favorite books.
“College-going is very important to me, as you might imagine,” she said. “And on that day I asked those students how many of them planned to graduate high school.”
Only a few students raised their hands, she said. Even knowing the shy nature of sixth-graders, Dr. Karolewics said she was still alarmed at the small show of hands and challenged those students to graduate high school and, more importantly, to go to college, and offered them an incentive.
“So recently, we had a college day…and I had a young man come up to me as I was greeting students that day. He said, ‘You spoke to my sixth grade class a few years ago didn’t you?’ And I said, ‘Yes, I did.’ And he said, ‘Do you remember what you said that day?’ I said, ‘Yes, do you remember what I said that day?’ He said, ‘You told us that if we would remind you that you promised a scholarship if we would go to college, that you would give us one.’ I said, ‘I did, thank you for remembering that.’
“Then it took a little more of his courage to say, ‘Is it going to be a full ride?’” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Yes, it is.’
“Because Chase Gipson had the courage and the desire to finish high school and to say that he’s going to Wallace State, he gets a full Presidential Scholarship,” Dr. Karolewics told the students, faculty and parents gathered for awards day.
Other scholarships awarded by Dr. Karolewics included a Career Technical Scholarship to Alex Armstrong and a Performing Arts Scholarship to Shania Flanigan. On behalf of Dr. Karolewics, Career Coach Jennifer Eddleman presented a Cullman Savings Bank Foundation Scholarship to Corey Barbee.
Armstrong also received the Grant Brown Memorial Scholarship, which pays for one year’s tuition to Wallace State. The Xavier Montez Malcom Athletic Scholarship was presented to Grace Quick.
Registration is currently under way for the summer semester. Classes start May 21. For more information about Wallace State, call 256.352.8000 or visit www.wallacestate.edu.