2017 HFA Scholarship Winners

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Two 2017 HFA Scholarship Recipients Named  

Luke Mahaney, of La Plata, Maryland, and Josephine Ann “Josie” Sparks, of Bardstown, Kentucky, are this year’s recipients of the Higdon Family Association Scholarship. Luke is now working toward a Criminal Justice degree from the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata. Josie will enter the University of Kentucky in Lexington this fall to pursue a B. S. degree in Nursing. Both have done well in school and were enthusiastically recommended by those who know them.


Luke Mahaney

Luke Mahaney

Luke Mahaney’s mother, Theresa, is the daughter of Gerald N. Higdon, who is the son of Thomas Leonard Higdon (1914-2002). They trace their ancestry to Francis Higdon (1781-1826). Luke’s HFA Sponsor is Frank Mayfield. 

Luke worked as a concession worker for the Charles County Government from ninth to eleventh grade. During his junior and senior years of high school he worked for Safeway, and he is now employed by a Target Starbucks to help with his college expenses. He is also an experienced dog walker, he notes. Extracurricular high school activities included 4-H and three years in the Envirothon Club. He was active in such community projects as cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay. He also participated in Toys-for-Tots.

About 8 months after these awards were announced, our annual HFA meeting was held in Alexandria, VA. Luke Mahaney, was in attendance, along with his mother, Theresa Mahaney, and his grandparents, Jerry & Aggie Higdon. Alexandria, VA, is about a 45-minute drive from La Plata, MD, where Luke attends the College of Southern Maryland in La Plata. In the 10 years that the Higdon Family Association has awarded these scholarships, Luke has been the only recipient of our HFA Scholarship Award to personally attend an HFA Annual Meeting Banquet. Since he lived about 45 minutes away by car, he could attend, and he decided to attend. Near the end of our banquet that night, Luke requested a chance to address our membership. When Luke spoke, he thanked us for the honor our HFA had bestowed on him. He made it clear that receiving our scholarship award was indeed an honor. However, the reason he wanted to speak was to also emphasize the other part. While Luke worked part-time to help pay for his college expenses, his income from jobs at a Starbucks and as a dog-walker, relative to those college expenses, was not substantial. As the honor was very welcome, so the money was also very welcome. He said the $2,000 scholarship award was a significant assist in helping to pay for his college costs. While our HFA members were pleased with Luke and his family’s attendance, we were even more pleased that our scholarship awards provide both psychological and monetary assistance. 



Josie Sparks

Josie Sparks

Josie Sparks’ mother, Allison Marie, is the daughter of HFA member Thomas Theodore “Ted” Higdon, and she traces her ancestry to William Bernard and Emmaline O’Bryan Higdon. 

Josie graduated from Bethlehem High School, having done very well in all her courses, which included Honors English, College Algebra and Trigonometry, and AP Language and Composition. She was active in such extracurricular activities as volleyball, Student Ambassadors, tennis, and archery. Among her several awards were the “Be Your Best Self” award in the Nelson County Distinguished Young Woman program. She also volunteered at the Humane Society and for other community groups. Josie has been employed by Handy Food Mart for several years and will continue there during school breaks in order to help with college expenses. 








The HFA scholarship award has been helpful to many students in years past, whether they are just beginning college or continuing their higher education in pursuit of another degree. Click here for details on how to apply. Members of the committee to choose recipients are William R. Higdon, of Moon, Virginia, Chairman; Charles P. Higdon, of Clinton, Tennessee; and Sally H. Swain, of Lebanon, Tennessee. The annual deadline for applications is March 31. 


Click here to DONATE funds to

The Higdon Family Association Scholarship Fund










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