Jamal Smith earns NorthEast Foundation scholarship

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2019

CONCORD — The NorthEast Foundation, whose mission is to provide financial and community support for Atrium Health Cabarrus, has named Jamal Smith the recipient of the 2019 Ann Cannon Spirit of Volunteerism Scholarship.

Smith is a recent graduate at A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis and attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill pursuing a career in exercise and sports science.

In addition to his 4.3 GPA in school, he was vice president of the National Honor Society, a member of the National Technical Honor Society and student council president. He earned his Eagle Scout rank, works for the Kannapolis Intimidators and has volunteered at Atrium Health Cabarrus since 2014.

“Before volunteering at the hospital, I had no idea of what I wanted to do after high school,” said Smith on his scholarship application. “The popular question of ‘What do I want to be?’ was always hard for me to answer. Then I started volunteering at the hospital. I fell in love with the environment and the lessons I learned while volunteering after the first year. Today, I plan on majoring in exercise science and sports science and working to be a physical therapist. Without the volunteer program at Atrium Health Cabarrus, I would have never found my passion in medicine.”

Smith accepted the scholarship from Ann and Bill Cannon at an afternoon social at Carolinas Rehabilitation-NorthEast on Aug. 13. Also in attendance were Todd Bennett, vice president at Carolinas Rehabilitation; Katherine Barrier, director of volunteer services at Atrium Health Cabarrus; Charlie Sastoque, president of NorthEast Foundation; Stacey Ellis-Antisdel, Bernadette Reid and Ken Young, volunteers and scholarship selection committee members; as well as Smith’s mother, Wanda.

“Walking into the meeting with everyone who made it possible for me to go to Chapel Hill was a nerve-racking experience at first,” said Smith. “Knowing that everyone was there for me and my mom, and no other reason, was a feeling I’ve never felt before.”

“It is truly an honor to gift this scholarship each year to a worthy young individual,” said Ann Cannon. “Jamal has exemplified the true meaning of volunteerism as a priceless commodity that cannot be bought, only earned. I know he will continue to demonstrate this philosophy as he begins his education at Chapel Hill to become a physical therapist.”

The Ann Cannon Spirit of Volunteerism Scholarship was established in 2004 and is endowed through the NorthEast Foundation as a gift from William “Bill” Cannon in honor or his wife, Ann, as recognition of her volunteer contributions as a member and past chairwoman of the NorthEast Foundation and her passion for Atrium Health Cabarrus.

The award recognizes and supports volunteer service among members of the Junior Volunteer Program.

For more information on the NorthEast Foundation, visit www.GiveNorthEastFoundation.org or call 704-403-1369.