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Local student wins Golden LEAF Scholarship

SALISBURY — The North Carolina State Education Assistance Authority (NCSEAA) recently selected Rowan County native Margie Villalobos Jaram as a recipient of up to a $12,000 Golden LEAF Foundation Scholarship.

Villalobos Jaram is a senior at North Rowan High School and plans to attend Catawba College.

Villalobos Jaram is one of 215 students selected to receive a $3,000 scholarship each year for up to four years of study at a participating North Carolina college or university. Recipients from rural, economically-distressed North Carolina counties are selected based on career and educational goals, a review of school and community service activities, length of residence in the county and expressed intent to contribute to the state’s rural communities upon graduation from college.

The Golden LEAF Foundation created the Golden LEAF Scholarship program to broaden educational opportunities and provide support to students from rural counties hoping that after graduation recipients will provide leadership in these communities.

“The Golden LEAF Board of Directors has been pleased to assist more than 4,500 students from families in rural communities attend four-year colleges since 2000,” said Dan Gerlach, president. “Our hope is that through this scholarship, scholars will be able to gain valuable knowledge and skills and come back to their hometowns or another rural area to help our communities prosper.”

Students receiving Golden LEAF Scholarships are also eligible to participate in the Golden LEAF Scholars Leadership Program. The optional program provides leadership training at the Center for Creative Leadership, paid internship opportunities in rural North Carolina communities, and stipends up to $8,830 (for four years of participation) in addition to Golden LEAF Scholarship funding.

About Golden Leaf Foundation:

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to help transform North Carolina’s economy. The foundation receives a portion of North Carolina’s funds from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers and places emphasis on assisting tobacco-dependent, economically-distressed and/or rural communities across the state. The foundation has awarded 1,494 grants worth over $749 million since its inception.

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