Julia Kessel is the recipient of Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory’s 2015 Service Above Self scholarship.
Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory recognizes the value of a good education. Since 2005, thirty students have received SAS scholarships, totaling over $200,000. SAS recipients have attended Appalachian State University, Davidson College, Duke University, East Carolina University, Furman University, Gardner Webb University, Lenoir Rhyne University, University of North Carolina, University of South Carolina, and Catawba Valley Community College, among others.
As the Service Above Self scholarship winner from Hickory High School’s class of 2015, Julia will receive Rotary’s financial aid toward her college tuition. Due to the continued financial success and popularity of Rotarian Idol, the SAS scholarship has been increased this year from $10,000 to $12,000. The increase allows the SAS scholarship recipient to receive $3,000 per year for college costs. The total scholarship is now $12,000, payable over four years.
Thursday 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.
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.
Julia’s high school career has been an impressive mix of outstanding scholarship, leadership and service. In addition to the rigors of the International Baccalaureate program, she is a member of Interact, National Honor Society, Juniorettes, Beta Club, Latin Club, Mu Alpha Theta and DECA. She is President of Juniorettes, Senior Class Vice-President and Historian of Beta Club. As captain of the HHS tennis team, she and her partner finished fifth in the State’s 3-A schools. Julia has served as a tutor and a tennis coach for young children and has participated in a number of mission trips with her church, Hickory’s First Presbyterian Church.
Julia plans to attend the University of Alabama, where she has already been accepted into the nursing program. Her goals don’t stop there; Julia hopes to continue her studies to become an anesthesiologist.
Thursday Rotary Club of Hickory would like to again acknowledge and thank the patrons, participants, and advertisers for their support of Rotarian Idol which makes support of local educational initiatives possible.