The Rotary Club of Hickory’s Service Above Self Scholarship Committee announced the two recipients of the 2020 Service Above Self Scholarships presented annually by the club: Tamia Larius Sloan from Hickory High School and Luke Matthew Alvarez from Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School. This is the second year the Rotary Club of Hickory has presented scholarships to both high schools in the Hickory Public Schools system. The scholarship is named after the Rotarian motto: Service Above Self.
Each student will receive a $12,000 scholarship payable to the college or university they attend. The annual scholarship amount is $3,000 for four years. These donations are made possible by the Rotary Club of Hickory’s successful fundraising activities, including the annual Rotarian Idol competition, which was canceled this year due to Coronavirus social distancing guidelines. The Rotary Club of Hickory’s ongoing commitment of financial support continues to provide necessary educational assistance locally, and is consistent with the club’s continued commitment to and financial support of local educational initiatives.
To qualify for the Service Above Self Scholarship, students must demonstrate consistent service in their school and in the community. Service to others is what sets this scholarship apart from other college scholarships that may emphasis academics, athletics, and financial need. Leadership by example is a second criterion for applying. Students also have to show a record of good grades and be in the top 20 percent of their class. Applicants write a “Statement of Service” and include letters of recommendation from a high school teacher and a community member or employer.
Members of the Service Above Self Scholarship Committee are Shuford Abernathy, Thomas Griffis, Tara Hicks, Gerry Knox, Linda Lutz, Anne Williams, and Rosemary Bass Young.
Including the $24,000 scholarships awarded this year, the Hickory Rotary Club has provided college scholarships valued at $294,000 since 2002, though Service Above Self Scholarship have been offered for years prior to 2002.
She received significant honors and recognition at Hickory High School. She attended North Carolina Governor’s School, received the Student of Distinction award, and was named a Junior Marshall. She was very active in school clubs and organizations and demonstrated her “service above self” and leadership qualities through them. She is a member of the National Beta Club and the National Honor Society in which she serves as president. She has served in the positions of parliamentarian and vice-president of the Health Occupations Students of America. As a member of that organization, she volunteered with the Special Olympics. She was vice-president of the Science National Honors Society and a member of the National Technical Honor Society.
Luke Alvarez is the son of Susanna Ramirez. He is the oldest of three children. He will be leaving the foothills of Catawba County for the mountains of Jackson County and Western Carolina University where he will pursue psychology, art, and theater.
Ranked number one in his Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School (HCAM), Luke has served as a Beta Club member providing visitor tours of HCAM and as a Student Ambassador. He received accolades as an HCAM student by being named the Chancellor’s Choice and the Friendliest Senior. He is a member and vice-president of the National Arts Honor Society. As a member of that society, he helped coordinate an impressive mural at Jenkins Elementary School featuring four Superheroes including Wonder Woman. These popular characters are role models that may influence positively student attitudes and behaviors such as honesty and responsibility. Luke’s service includes serving meals at the Hickory Soup Kitchen, collecting food, and gathering clothing.
The Rotary Club of Hickory was founded in 1921 by Watt Shuford. In adherence to Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self,” the club has a history of giving back to the community through its primary service avenue of education. For more information about the Rotary Club of Hickory, visit www.hickoryrotary.org.