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Salisbury/Rowan PFLAG awards scholarships

Scholarship recipients

Submitted – Gwendolyn S. Watkins

Submitted – Kevion T. Chunn

Submitted – Hayden J. Trayah

Submitted – Timothy “TJ” Smith

Submitted – Olivia A. Cunningham

Submitted – Rebecca J. Lewis

Submitted – Joel T. Davies

SALISBURY – The Salisbury-Rowan chapter of PFLAG has awarded seven $1,000 scholarships for the academic year 2018-2019.

Scholarships Advisory Committee members include Chairwoman Angel Barber, Dr. Mary Frances Edens, Roger Hull, Tim Coffey, Donna Odrosky, Mike Clawson and Carol Williams-Swoope. The recipients of the 2019 scholarships are:

  • The Anne Stanback — Charlotte Kinlock Scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury native Anne Stanback and her wife, Charlotte Kinlock, has been awarded to Gwendolyn S. Watkins. Watkins is a graduate of Salisbury High School and will be studying at the Academy of Arts University.
  • The Linda Ketner Community Service Scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury native Linda Ketner, has been awarded to Kevion T. Chunn. Chunn is a graduate of Salisbury High School and will be attending Appalachian State University.
  • The Bob Page Business Scholarship, named in honor of Bob Page, founder and CEO of Replacements, Ltd., has been awarded to Hayden J. Trayah. Trayah is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • The Ralph Ketner-Bill Stanback Equality Scholarship, named in honor of the two Salisbury businessmen and philanthropists, has been awarded to Timothy “TJ” Smith. Smith is a graduate of West Rowan High School and will be attending UNC-Greensboro.
  • The Salisbury Pride-Scotty Ray Gilbert Scholarship, is named in memory of Scotty Ray Gilbert, a past board member of Salisbury Pride, Inc. This year, the Salisbury Pride-Scotty Ray Gilbert Scholarship has been awarded to Olivia A. Cunningham. Cunningham is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending Guilford College.
  • The Roger and Linda Hull Scholarship, created to honor the Hulls’ gay son, and awarded specifically to someone active in their faith community, has been awarded to Rebecca J. Lewis. Lewis is a graduate of Salisbury High School and will be attending Western Carolina University.
  • The Russell E. Hellekson, Jr. Scholarship, created in memory of the accomplished musician who died in 1988, has been awarded to Joel T. Davies. Davies is a graduate of Salisbury High School and will be attending UNC-Wilmington.

The local chapter was founded in 2006, establishing its scholarship foundation and awarding its first two scholarships in the academic year 2008-2009. Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG was the first organization in North Carolina to award scholarships exclusively to LGBT students and/or their straight allies.

“Uniquely, Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG’s scholarships may be awarded to any public, private or home schooled high school senior continuing their education at any accredited trade school, community college or traditional four year college or university,” said Donna Odrosky, chapter president.

PFLAG is the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil and social rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 300,000 members in nearly 350 chapters throughout the United States, including 20 chapters in North Carolina.

“Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG is proud to support these articulate, accomplished scholars with great promise for future contribution to our society, in general, and to the cause of rights and recognition for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in particular,” said Angel Barber, chairwoman of the Scholarships Advisory Committee. “Our sincere thanks go to all of our many benefactors and donors who consider this an important cause and whose generosity makes these scholarships possible.”

Barber said that Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG had awarded 61 $1,000 scholarships over the last 12 years.

In addition, the committee named the winner of the 2019 Bob Johnsen Faculty Advocacy Award. This award, selected by scholarship applicants, recognizes a faculty member that provides unwavering support and safe zones for their gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and straight ally students.

The recipient of the 2019 Bob Johnsen Faculty Advocacy Award is Jackie Taylor of East Rowan High School. Jackie is a guidance counselor at East Rowan and advocates for all of her students.

This year’s scholarship recipients, as well as our faculty award recipient, will be recognized on stage at the ninth annual Salisbury Pride celebration in downtown Salisbury on June 22.

For more information on Salisbury/ Rowan PFLAG and the chapter’s scholarship program, call or email Donna Odrosky at 704-640-2621 or Angel Barber at 704-880-8225 or email salisburypflag@gmail.com.

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