"It was very difficult for the Scholarship Committee to make a final
decision this year," states chairman Bill Higdon, "because they are all
super qualified individuals." All five applicants came highly
recommended, and all five had excellent academic records. However, money
was available for only two awards of $1000 each.
The recipients are Amber Simith, of Leitchfield, Kentucky, who plans to attend Eastern Kentucky University of North Carolina at Asheville. Amber wants to become a doctor in the field of Optometry, and Cody wants to major in either chemistry or physics, with the ultimate goal of pursuing a career in pharmacy.
The daughter os Douglass and Mary Smith, Amber was recommended by her grandfather, Eugene Smith, a member of the Higdon Family Association serving as historian. She traces her ancestry back to Ignatius Higdon (b. 1740) and Mildred Elizabeth Dyson Higdon (b. 1789), who were both born in Maryland, and who settled in Grayson County, Kentucky.
The son of Richard and Shirley Brown Sluder, Cody was recommended by his grandmother, June Higdon Sluder, a member of HFA. His Higdon great grandparents were Leslie Bragg and Annie Corbin Higdon of Asheville, NC. Leslie Bragg Higdon was the son of Thomas Bragg and Pattie Rich Higdon, of Macon County, NC.
While maintaining a high grade-point average at Grayson County High School, Amber Smith participated in velleyball, the National Honor Society, track and field, Student Council/Government, and other organizations. She was appointed volleyball team captain her senior year, won the Coach's Award, and was named to the All-Region Team.
Amber is also active in her youth group at St. Paul Catholic Church and does volunteer work for St. Paul's elementary school as well. She enjoys activities with her family and likes cooking, traveling, "and just simply learning new things." She looks forward to a career in optemetry, maybe even one day providing a scholarship to local students wanting to enter that field. Amber's older brother, Wesley Adam Smith received HFA scholarship awards in 2009 and 2010. He is now a junior at Western Kentucky University, majoring in exercise science.
Cody Sluder graduated from Buncombe County (NC) Early College in May with a associate degree in arts and ranking very high in his class. He explains that this public high school "offers students the opportunity to earn their high school diploma and associate degree within a five-year span." It is located on the A-B Technical Community College campus in Asheville. Cody maintained a high grade-point average, qualiying him to be a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the school honor society.
While a student, Cody developed an interest in performing music and learned to play the guitar and other instruments. He was also involved in community service with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and held part-time jobs in the food services industry to help with the family finances.
Higdons can be proud of this year's scholarship winners. Thanks go to scholarship committee members Bill Higdon, Gale Tyrrell, and Carol Tyrrell.
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