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Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG awards annual scholarships

SALISBURY — The Salisbury-Rowan chapter of PFLAG and the Scholarships Advisory Committee have announced eight $1,000 scholarships for academic year 2019-2020. The Scholarships Advisory Committee members are Chairperson Angel Barber, Dr. Mary Frances Edens, Roger Hull, Tim Coffey, Donna Odrosky, Wendy Vernon, Mike Clawson, and Ken Swoope. The winners of the 2020 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 Braydon S. Campola. Campola is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending UNC-Greensboro.
  • The Linda Ketner Community Service Scholarship, named in honor of Salisbury native Linda Ketner, has been awarded to Victoria E. Post. Post is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending the University of South Carolina.
  • The Bob Page Business Scholarship, named in honor of Bob Page, founder and CEO of Replacements, Ltd. In Greensboro, has been awarded anonymously. The recipient is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending Appalachian State University.
  • The Ralph Ketner-Bill Stanback Equality Scholarship, named in honor of the two Salisbury businessmen and philanthropists, and awarded specifically to a straight ally, has been awarded to Mallory A. Braun. Braun is a graduate of North Rowan High School and will be attending Rowan-Cabarrus Community College.
  • 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 Leah A. Cressler. Cressler is a graduate of Salisbury High School and will be attending North Carolina State University.
  • 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 Taylor A. Conrad. Conrad is a graduate of Jesse C. Carson High School and will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill.
  • The Russell E. Hellekson Jr. Scholarship, created in memory of the accomplished musician who died in 1988, has been awarded to Zachary C. Hedrick. Hedrick is a graduate of East Rowan High School and will be attending Catawba College.
  • The Carol Williams-Swoope Social Justice Scholarship, a newly created scholarship, named in memory of the former Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG president and well known social justice warrior who died in January, has been awarded to Laura T. Johnson. Johnson is a graduate of East Rowan High School and will be attending UNC-Asheville.

The local chapter was founded in 2006, and in 2008, the chapter established its scholarship foundation and awarded the chapter’s first two scholarships. Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG was the first organization in North Carolina to award scholarships exclusively to LGBTQ+ 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 400 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, chairperson 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. Because of the wonderful response to the program and with the continued success of our scholarship fundraisers, Salisbury-Rowan PFLAG has awarded 72 $1,000 scholarships over the last 12 years. That’s an accomplishment to be proud of.”

This year’s scholarship recipients will be recognized, on stage, at the 10th annual Salisbury Pride celebration in downtown Salisbury on June 27. In addition, the chapter has awarded the 2020 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 award is named in honor of Bob Johnsen, a current teacher and faculty adviser for the gay-straight alliance at Jesse C. Carson High School. Johnsen was also a former teacher at North Rowan High School and was the faculty adviser for that school’s gay-straight alliance for four years. The 2020 recipient is Merry Overholser. She is an OCS teacher at Salisbury High School, and faculty advisor for the school’s gay-straight alliance.

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

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