Scholarship opportunities available for WNC students

Jan 24, 2014
Photo by: Donated photo Pictured are Julie Diane Nelms, Dakota Fountain, Andrew Steven Beck and Keegan Luckey-Smith, the 2013 scholarship winners.

It is the desire of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia to support and encourage our youth in honoring and preserving our local Appalachian heritage. Therefore, this year our nonprofit organization wishes to once again provide four opportunities for a scholarship in the amount of $500 each for “Appalachian Studies,” to be presented to four deserving seniors in the western N.C. counties. Each scholarship is focused on a different aspect of our Appalachian heritage, and established in honor of someone in our society who has made a difference.

Scholarship # 1—The Annie Lee Bryson Memorial Scholarship—for a student from these counties who has declared a major or minor in Appalachian Studies or related studies with an interest in “traditional crafts."

Annie Lee became known as “The Corn Husk Doll Lady,” teaching and demonstrating all over the area, and each year at the Appalachian Homestead in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In 1973, she received “The Woman of the Year” award from Western North Carolina Development for her leadership and heavy community involvement. In 2010, Annie Lee received Western Carolina University’s Mountain Heritage Award. Annie Lee passed away in 2010. Her daughters will present the award.

Scholarship # 2— The Mary Jane Queen Memorial Scholarship—the committee will select students who have declared a major or minor in music, with an interest in the traditional music of the Appalachian Mountains.

Mary Jane Queen was a balladeer and musician who, along with her family, won numerous awards for her music: 1992, Charlotte Folk Music Society and the Asheville Mountain Dance and Folk Festival; 1993 NC Folk Heritage Award; 1999 WCU Mountain Heritage Award; 2001, Brown Hudson Folklore Award; 2007 National Folk Heritage Fellowship Award. Mary Jane passed away in 2007. Her daughter will present the award.

Scholarship # 3—The Elmer & Irene Hooper Memorial Scholarship—the committee is looking for high school seniors who have demonstrated excellence in volunteerism and leadership and who are committed to making a difference in the community.

This husband and wife team was involved in many non-profit organizations, including Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Jackson County Genealogical Society, Jackson County Historical Association, Democrats Men & Women’s club, American Legion (Post 104), Jackson County Transportation (Elmer was a volunteer driver taking people to doctor’s appointments, locally as well as to Raleigh). The two were active members of the Jackson County Senior Center (building and renovating projects, as well as coordinators of the “Breakfast Committee.” Everyone loved Elmer’s gravy. Irene has been named “Mother of the Year,” statewide. Although Elmer passed away in 2011, Irene will be at the awards ceremony to present the scholarship award.

Scholarship # 4—The Founders Scholarship—a scholarship awarded on the basis of merit or potential within the visual arts, writing or history, with consideration of financial need.

This award will be presented by Amy and Doreyl Ammons, cofounders of Catch the Spirit of Appalachia, Inc, in honor of their mother, Cannie Owen Ammons.

Applicants must submit completed application and all supporting documents to the guidance counselor of the applicant’s school by March 10 in order to be considered for this year’s scholarship awards. Home school applicants should complete the application and send it to CSA, 29 Regal Avenue, Sylva, NC 28779 by March 10, 2014. The application packet may be downloaded by going to our website, For for more information, call 828-631-4587.



Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.