Jade Shepherd | Alleghany County
Deannh Mihalke | Alleghany County
Focused on the Future
The year 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Frank James – SkyLine Scholarship, a program established by our board of directors which honors the co-op’s longtime president and former educator. This one program has awarded more than a half million dollars in college scholarships to children of SkyLine/SkyBest members/customers who exhibit scholarship achievement and financial need.
Deannh Mihalke is among 11 area high school seniors this year to be named a Frank James-SkyLine Scholarship winner, and will receive $4,000 over the next four years while attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Deannh credits this scholarship for making it possible for her to go to college. “Due to my family’s financial situation, the thought of college at first was unrealistic, but thanks to this program, I am able to go to college and embark on my future ahead!” Mihalke also credits her experiences at Cooperative Leadership
Camp and the National Institute for Cooperative Education (NICE)—programs also sponsored locally by SkyLine—on furthering her leadership potential. “The camp showed me what a true leader is like and the characteristics it takes to be a great leader, such as being mindful of others, having an open mind, caring for others’ opinions and always having a goal.” The leadership skills Deannh honed during her first year of camp led to her selection to serve as a junior counselor the following summer.
Children of our customers are the focus of high school youth leadership and college scholarship programs offered through SkyLine, the Cooperative Council of North Carolina and the Foundation for Rural Service.
More than a half million dollars in local scholarships have been awarded to area students since this program was established by our cooperative’s Board of Directors in 1987.
Many of our scholarship program ‘alumni’ are now back home, established in their careers, raising families and contributing to our communities.
of others, having an open mind, caring for others’ opinions and always having a goal.” The leadership skills Deannh honed during her first year of camp led to her selection to serve as a junior counselor the following summer.
While at Alleghany High, Deannh ranked fifth in her class, and served as Beta Club President her senior year. She cheered and ran track all four years, serving as Cheerleading Captain and advancing to the state finals of track in her junior and senior years. At UNCC, Deannh is working toward a liberal science degree with a concentration in biology with plans to continue graduate studies at UNCChapel Hill and ultimately work in the medical field because she wants to help people. “The number one thing on my bucket list is to save a life.”
Since 2006, SkyLine has been a local sponsor of a national scholarship program through the Foundation for Rural Service, the advocacy arm of NTCA—the Rural Broadband Association, the national trade association that represents more than 800 rural telecommunications cooperatives and companies. Jade Shepherd became the 13th student from our service area and the first from Alleghany to receive this prestigious $2,500 award. This scholarship was presented to 67 high school seniors among more than 1,400 applicants. Along with easing the financial burden to her family, Jade shared that this scholarship “has given me confidence in myself and allowed me to see that I am competitive
academically with other students from across the nation.” Valedictorian of her class, Jade also served as Student Body President, Captain of the Softball Team, Captain of the 1-A State Champion Volleyball Team at Alleghany High, and was named both Mountain Valley Conference Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player of the State Tournament.
In fact, it was her involvement with the volleyball team that led her to her chosen field of study. “I was inspired to choose the career of Physical Therapy through my own personal experience with a Physical Therapist when I injured my knee in volleyball.” Jade is attending Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University this fall to pursue a degree in Human Nutrition, Food & Exercise and is considering graduate programs in Physical Therapy at Radford, East Tennessee State and Lenoir-Rhyne. Ultimately she hopes to build her career in the Johnson City/Bristol area, but says she will eventually return to the area that has given her so much.
Both Deannh and Jade are especially grateful to their teachers and school administration for being personally invested in their students and for preparing them for a successful future in college and beyond. Thanks to dual enrollment opportunities, which allowed them to take college-level courses through Wilkes Community College, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University, Deannh will enter UNCC as a second semester freshman, and Jade will enter Virginia Tech as a sophomore.
2016 Frank James – SkyLine Scholarship Winners
Wilkes Community College
N.C. State University
Western Carolina University
Lincoln Memorial University
Mars Hill University
Caldwell Community College
Appalachian State University
Caldwell Community College
Caldwell Community College
East Tennessee State University
Thanks to dual enrollment opportunities, which allowed them to take college-level courses through Wilkes Community College, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University, Deannh will enter UNCC as a second semester freshman, and Jade will enter Virginia Tech as a sophomore.
©2016 SkyLine Membership Corp.