Rotary Club of Hickory Awards SAS Scholarships

Written by Webmaster on . Posted in Club Service, Community Interest, Community Service, Weekly Programs

(L-R): Marlet Gisel Castillo and Suzanne Brockenborough (substituting for her daughter, Sidney).

At the May 16th meeting of the Rotary Club of Hickory, Rotarian Thomas Griffis announced the winners of the 2019 Service Above Self scholarships. Sidney L. Brockenborough from Hickory High School and Marlet Gisel Castillo from Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School are this year’s recipients of four year college scholarships. This is the first year the Rotary Club of Hickory has presented a scholarship to an HCAM senior.

Each student will receive a $12,000 scholarship payable to the university they attend.  The annual scholarship amount is $3,000 for four years. These scholarships are possible due to the continued financial success and popularity of Rotarian Idol.

To qualify for a Service Above Self scholarship, candidates must consistently demonstrate their service to others, be in the top 20 percent of their class and lead by example. During the candidate’s interviews, students are evaluated on traditional scholarship standards: grades, overall grade point average and class rank. What sets the SAS scholarship apart from many others is that each honored student must demonstrate how they serve their community.

The Rotary Club of Hickory’s Service Above Self scholarship rewards students who excel in the classroom, are recognized by teachers as leaders and who volunteer to serve others through community service, church activities and more.

The Rotary Club of Hickory recognizes the value of a good education. Since 2005, thirty-seven students have received SAS scholarships, totaling over $270,000. SAS recipients have attended Appalachian State University, Davidson College, Duke University, East Carolina University, Furman University, Gardner Webb University, Lenoir Rhyne University, University of Alabama, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina – Charlotte, University of South Carolina, and Catawba Valley Community College, among others.

Sidney Brockenborough is the daughter of Suzanne and Nelson Brockenborough. She will attend the University of North Carolina – Charlotte where she plans to major in communications followed by a career in journalism, with an emphasis in music appreciation. She participated in the HHS Interact Club during her four high-school years and served on the Executive Board.  She also served as a member of the Beta Club, the Student Council, and Juniorettes.  In these school clubs and organizations beyond the HHS campus, Sidney lives by our Rotary motto, “Service Above Self.”  She yearns to connect journalism and music advocacy.  She has an inherent curiosity about people and cultures.   Her curiosity is evident in her hobbies which include playing the cello, singing with the Lenoir Rhyne Youth Chorus, music theatre with Molly Bass, involvement with her congregation, and spending time with her family.

In keeping with her academic regimen, Sindney was unable to attend today’s meeting due to a scheduled International Baccalaureate exam and was represented by her mother, Suzanne, who accepted the scholarship award on Sidney’s behalf.

Marlet Gisel Castillo, the daughter of Silvia Martinez Cesarlo and Pedro Castillo.  She will attend Radford University in Radford, Virginia, with plans to become a fashion designer and photographer.  She has been a three year member of the National Beta Club, serving as secretary.  She is also a member of the National Technical Honors Society.  She has received honors of “excellence” in American history, math, and drama.  In addition to being a superb student and club member, she works thirty-plus hours a week as a floor supervisor and swing manager of an area McDonalds.  One of her references wrote about Marlet, “I was astounded by her positive leadership not only at work also but with her involvement within the community on several occasions, including but not limited by her ability to stand beside her fellow students to collect items for hurricane victims and victims within the community.

The Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. The club has a long history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about the Hickory Rotary Club, visit


General Info

  • Meeting Time:
    Thursdays from 12:00PM to 1:15PM
  • Meeting Location:
    430 17th Avenue NW,
    Hickory, North Carolina 28601